This week is National Apprenticeship Week, which brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
We sat down with some of our talented apprentices to discuss the achievements and skills that they have learnt whilst carrying out their apprenticeships. It was enlightening to hear their experiences and successes that they have earned whilst working with the Walter Lilly team.
Bradley Cheeseman, Surveyor:
Alex Robertson, Temporary Site Services Supervisor:
Tom Hall, Assistant Surveyor:
This year’s National Apprenticeship Week theme is #skilsforlife. What skills for life have you learnt/are you learning during your apprenticeship?
Bradley: Time management skills has to be a key skill that I have developed whilst carrying out my apprenticeship. Trying to find the balance between my work, studies and social life was hard but important for me to learn early on.
My teamwork, communication and leadership skills were also improved massively by carrying out multiple team projects / activities both at work and university.
Tom: Whilst doing my studies I’ve had the opportunity to develop a number of skills for life. Being in a working environment has enabled me to develop skills that aren’t explicitly always taught in universities, such as professional communication and teamwork skills. By working in the industry whilst studying, it has given me the chance to communicate on a face-to-face basis with others who are of different ages, job roles, across a range of different environments – on site, meetings, training, etc. Additionally, by earning whilst I’m learning, I have learnt to manage my personal finances quickly and efficiently.
What are the benefits of an apprenticeship? Would you recommend it to others?
Alex: As you join the workforce, you’re able to not only learn skills in college but also on site working for an experienced company whilst earning. A downside may be that the qualification takes twice as long but, in my opinion, an apprenticeship is a lot more beneficial as you become a well-rounded and confident individual.
Tom: The key benefits of doing an apprenticeship include:
What needs to be done to encourage more people onto apprenticeships?
Bradley: Ensure schools and colleges are made aware of the apprenticeship schemes within the UK. University is normally the preferred option for students, but I believe the benefits of apprenticeships outweigh the benefits of university, especially in the long run.
Alex: I believe there should be more advertisement around apprenticeships and encouragement from teachers in schools. Perhaps career days hosted by people that have experienced working from a young age, who have their own businesses or are self-employed, as this is fundamentally the end goal for most working in the industry.
What are the outdated preconceptions that still exist around apprenticeships?
Bradley: That a degree outweighs an apprenticeship. It may look better on a CV, but your apprenticeship includes experiences within the workplace which is much more valuable. Employers want people that are familiar with the environment they are stepping into.
Tom: Some people have the misconception that apprenticeships are for those who would struggle with academic study. Historically, apprenticeships were reserved for vocational courses only, but now working on the job can go hand-in-hand with theoretical study. Therefore, the association which exists now for all levels of study, while working in the field, needs to be better promoted.
If you think construction is for you and would like to be considered for Walter Lilly’s apprenticeship programme, register your interest here – Apply (webrecruit.co).