Plumbing business owner Joseph Valente has been crowned the winner of The Apprentice.
Valente, expelled from school at the age of 15, called for a boost in vocational training to help disengaged pupils and said he plans to push for more workplace apprenticeships. After winning Lord Sugar’s backing for his business, he said: “Apprenticeships are going to be the backbone of this country, and off the back of this journey I’m going to make sure I go out and promote as much as possible how effective apprenticeships are.”
Valente started out as an apprentice and went on to found his own plumbing business in Peterborough.
The 26-year-old won Lord Sugar’s £250,000 backing and a 50/50 business partnership after seeing off 17 other candidates on the BBC show.
After crowning his winner, Lord Sugar said: “Joseph is a great example of what’s possible. He turned his life around and decided he was going to go to work and here he is today, a well-deserved winner of The Apprentice.”