After leaving school somewhat naively at 16, I struggled for six years to find fulfilling work, finally settling into a warehouse role with next to no career progression. I knew I wasnt meeting my potential, but my unexciting employment history left me with very little confidence.
I was therefore skeptical about apprenticeships at first, being 23 and having preconceived impressions that they were for fresh faced school leavers. I was nervous about going back to College in my 20s too, assuming Id be the oldest in the classroom, which was not at all the case.
Embarking upon this apprenticeship has been the best decision I have ever made. It has not only given me the qualifications to enable me to consider further study at university, but it has opened the door to a hugely rewarding and exciting career path.
My roles on site include inducting all new subcontractors to ensure they implement the necessary site safety procedures, assisting material purchases and equipment for the project, and maintaining the sites fire regulations. Ive also helped to spearhead the introduction of a new road safety framework on the project, which aims to significantly reduce potential dangers to cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists arising from nearby construction activities. The project is the first for Wates in the region to be registered with the Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) standard – something that makes me very proud!
The apprenticeship position means that while gaining two years of hands-on construction experience, I am also simultaneously working towards a BTEC Level 3 in Construction and the Built Environment and an NVQ Level 3 through one day of College study per week.
Im now on track to successfully complete the apprenticeship in July and already in the process of applying for a higher apprenticeship programme at Wates. This will enable me to continue supporting the Brakenhale Academy project while also studying a Construction Management degree at university.
I absolutely love my job; every day is different and presents new and interesting learning opportunities. I honestly cant recommend apprenticeships enough. There is so much scope for growth and not just in knowledge and experience – my self-esteem, positivity and communication skills have improved massively too.
Ive been excited about what the future holds for the first time since joining the world of work. Im looking forward to the potential of a higher apprenticeship with Wates and an extremely gratifying career in construction.