Peterborough’s Apprentice winner gets his own apprentice

Joseph Valente, Lord Sugar and Billy Robinson
Joseph Valente, Lord Sugar and Billy Robinson

Lord Sugar’s Peterborough ‘apprentice’ Joseph Valente has followed in his business hero’s footsteps - by hiring his own apprentice.

Since winning BBC 1 show The Apprentice in 2015, Joseph Valente has been busy putting his £250,000 investment from business partner Lord Sugar to good use. Joseph has expanded Impra Gas, his plumbing and heating company, to offer boiler installation to 3,500 customers across the UK and has plans in place to move into the smart home sector.

Now Joseph, from Peterborough, has hired his own 16-year-old apprentice, Billy Robinson, to allow the youngster to learn the trade.

Joseph said: “I have come a long way since I was an apprentice and it is a path I would recommend to anyone who is unsure of what to do when they leave school. I was expelled at 14 years old but was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to learn a trade. This has helped make me who I am today and taught me the importance of hard work; a skill I have utilised throughout my career so far and no doubt contributed to me winning The Apprentice last year.”

Billy said he hoped the opportunity would be his first steps into following Joseph in business.

He said; “It means the world to be part of such a successful and fast-growing organisation and being in a position where I can learn, grow and hopefully become as successful as Joseph, as I know he started out just like me. I would strongly recommend apprenticeships to anyone that wants a successful career and also wants to learn a trade for life.”

Joseph added: “I was really impressed with Billy’s confidence and work ethic when he did work experience with us, he reminded me a little of myself at that age. I hope that Billy gets as much out of doing on-the-job-training as I have and has a long and successful career with Impra Gas.”

Lord Sugar said, ‘Joseph is a great example of what is possible through hard work and a testament to where he started from to where he is now. Vocational education and apprenticeships are a great a way of getting into work and are beneficial in providing individuals with a wide range of skills needed in the work place.’