Today (Monday 7 February 2022) marks the beginning of the 15th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW). The theme of this year’s NWA is ‘Build the Future’, an opportunity for us to zero in on the key drivers behind the Government’s Levelling-Up initiative by helping to provide 16-24 year olds with more opportunities within the workforce.
The week will encourage the country to consider and celebrate how technical education can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and employers to develop a workforce with future-ready skills.
In advance of NAW, we spoke to Jake Hall who started his five-year-long Building Surveying apprenticeship with us in January 2021:
“What has been your biggest challenge during your apprenticeship?”
“One of my biggest challenges that I have had to overcome since the start of my apprenticeship would be the detailed understanding of the development process. Coming into this industry with no previous experience, I have sometimes found it quite hard to really get my head around just how many steps and processes are involved. I know this will eventually become second nature so I’m not concerned but I’m just eager to hit the ground running.”
“What has been the biggest highlight of your apprenticeship?”
“My biggest highlight of my apprenticeship so far is being given the responsibility of managing our future workspace requirements. Although it might not seem like a big deal to most people, to me it is a sense of responsibility, independence and trust bestowed upon me by the rest of the team. Not only that, but it has allowed me to put the skills I have learned, both on the job and as part of my degree, into practice.”
“Describe a typical day.”
“A typical day for me can vary greatly due to my role within the business. Some days I am visiting our major development projects, including Middlewood Locks, Thorpe Park Leeds, Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, Queensferry One in Rosyth or Talbot Green in Wales. When I am in the office I spend a lot of time contacting stakeholders and also spend quite a lot of time running over previous development projects in order for me to fully understand the processes involved. This usually prompts quite a of questions about things I don’t quite understand so I ensure that I ask people in the team to help me out with the learning process.”
“Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship instead of going to university?”
“The main reason I chose to undertake an apprenticeship rather than going to university full time is because I wanted to gain proper on the job experience at the same time as learning. I believe it will allow me to be more proficient in my role, more quickly. I also just genuinely believed that choosing an apprenticeship over full time university was the right thing for me as I was eager to jump straight into the practical aspects of the job as soon as possible.”
“What is it like working for Scarborough Group?”
“Working for Scarborough Group is honestly the best experience. Everyone is so approachable and has time for me which is a huge thing being an apprentice as I am always eager to learn and ask questions. I feel like everyone has helped me settle into the role over the last 12 months and everyone is extremely supportive and patient which really makes my working environment very positive. I couldn’t recommend working for a better organisation. “
“What advice do you have for people looking to do an apprenticeship?”
“For anyone who is genuinely thinking about doing an apprenticeship I would give them a few pieces of advice, the first being, make sure that the industry and company you chose is going to be the right one for you or you won’t enjoy it or get the most out of the experience. I would also say, when starting the apprenticeship make sure you have a positive attitude and eagerness to learn so your colleagues know that you’re interested and willing to get stuck in.
“If anyone is ‘umming and ‘ahhing over choosing an apprenticeship over a degree then don’t. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and can honestly say that the first 12 months have been an amazing journey so far!”