Manager at Islington based decorating company receives an MBE

Jean Duprez

Jean Duprez - Credit: Archant

A senior manager at an Islington based decorating company has been awarded an MBE for her services to skills training.

Jean Duprez, who works to find apprenticeships for young people through K&M McLoughlin Decorating Ltd’s unique school in Brewery Road, is also an ambassador for the London Chamber of Commerce where her role is to encourage businesses to take on more young people.

She says that one of her main aims is to get more women into construction and has spoken at all girls schools about the opportunities and variation in what is still a predominantly male industry.

Ms Duprez, 45, said: “We’re amazed, I’m really chuffed.

“It say’s it’s for my services to skills training but it’s not about me, it’s about much more than that.

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“But if I can use this to help get more businesses to take on apprentices that would be fantastic.

“One of my main goals is to get more women in to construction. I’ve got two girls and they both did their A-levels and went into higher education because they didn’t know what else to do.

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“I started my first job three days after I left school, I went with my friend to a job interview and they ended up giving me the job and I worked my way up.”

Ms Duprez, who now lives with her partner John in Somers Town behind St Pancras station, has worked at K&M for 12 years and has spent the last four running the skills school alongside City and Islington College – the first of it’s kind in the UK.

“We’ve been trying to get businesses involved by taking on young people in the community.

“These young people want to work, they’re not all useless, we’ve had some amazing successes. We teach them what a job is, a lot of people think it’s just turning up and being paid but you need to contribute and make money for your employer to be valuable.”

Ms Duprez and her family were very shocked by the news but she’s looking forward to meeting a royal.

“My grandad who’s 95 in February wanted to know what the joke was and I can’t tell you what my mum said.

“I’m totally stunned, just seeing your name on the list is amazing.

“I do talk a lot so I’m worried if I meet the Queen she won’t be able to stop me.”

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