As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we’re thrilled to highlight the journeys of three staff members whose careers have been shaped by apprenticeships.
Mark Hart, Joint Managing Director
“I started my career as an apprentice Carpenter & Joiner on a 3-year duration. The foundation of an apprenticeship and a broader understanding of the industry that this gives you, has enabled me to progress through many supervisory positions, culminating in my reaching the highest level of Joint Managing Director.”
Mark reflects on the role of his apprenticeship in preparing him for his current position: “By ensuring I was experienced in the technical aspects of our industry as well as ensuring I was able to plan and execute many different tasks, additionally and very important it taught me how to interact with people and certainly enhanced my communication skills, which have proved invaluable.”
“Give it real consideration as it is a hugely satisfying and rewarding process that equips you with not only specific skills but also so many life skills, due to the extensive range of circumstances you work in and people you meet. Once you decide to go down this route be sure you ask questions, seek to gain knowledge and don’t be afraid to fail, as this is a distinct part of the learning process.”
Chris Scoging, Senior Planner
“My future in construction started when I was about 12 years old. I would go to work with my dad at the weekends, mix up cement by hand and bump out bricks to earn a bit of pocket money.”
“I wasn’t very academic at school. After I left Northgate High School in 1995, I was then taken on by a local contractor who funded my 3-year apprenticeship in bricklaying. Although you learn a lot at college, the practical knowledge and experience was gained whilst on site.”
Due to an injury shifting his career path, Chris transitioned into office-based roles. “In 2014 I joined Barnes Construction as Construction Planner where I have now progressed to Senior Planner.” Chris is responsible for completing and managing the planning functions within the business.
“My apprenticeship gave me the exposure, not only to bricklaying, but all the various trades, disciplines, construction techniques, and most importantly the people that invested their time in me.”
For those considering apprenticeships, Chris offers advice: “Grab it with both hands…Keep an open mind and don’t become focused on one discipline as there are many avenues to take and lots of talented people who will be happy to help and guide you along the way.”
Katie Smith, Management Trainee
“In truth, I fell into the industry! I had no idea what I wanted to pursue…I thought I’d go to university full time to study music. Six weeks in, I realised I’d made a bad decision, left my course, and came home.” Embracing a shift in mindset, Katie applied for the Construction Management Trainee role at Barnes Construction. Securing a position in our trainee scheme, Katie works in the office gaining on the job training whilst studying on a day release basis at university, working towards a degree in Construction Management.
Katie’s perspective on her career and future goals has evolved significantly since starting her apprenticeship. “I couldn’t envisage leaving the industry now! My current goal for the future is to graduate my university course.”
“Looking back three years, the first progression I see is in my construction knowledge – it also excites me that I’ll never stop gaining knowledge.”
The impact of Katie’s apprenticeship extends beyond her professional accomplishments: “Personally, I think I am more confident, and I have made some of the greatest friends.” Her enthusiasm for construction technicalities often spills into her personal life: “My poor boyfriend was subjected to a lesson in secondary double glazing on our recent holiday!”
Katie offers valuable advice to those considering an apprenticeship: “Be open-minded…Apply for lots of schemes and do not get disheartened if you don’t get through on your first application.”
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