When I was at school, apprenticeships had a bad rep. They were often stigmatised and avoided, categorised as a career route for the less academically able. Thankfully, that moniker is being replaced, one amazing apprenticeship opportunity after another. We discovered first hand what a phenomenal career opportunity an apprenticeship represents when it is being delivered by a great employer, offering fantastic support, clear career progression and makes their charges feel wanted and valued.
Balfour Beatty is one such company. It was immediately apparent that each apprentice LOVED their job. Our off-camera exchanges attested to this, which demonstrated that everything they were saying in their interview was unscripted, uncontrived and from the heart. It takes a lot of trust from an employer to allow its employees to talk openly and honestly about their experiences. It is an easy decision when you have such a comprehensive apprenticeship scheme, run by committed people, who are determined to deliver great results.
The apprentices we interviewed are all trainee quantity surveyors. Each apprentice works on a Balfour Beatty site, and learns through a mixture of day release and/or block release college attendance. Each apprentice is at a different stage in his/her apprenticeship program; Ollie is coming up to the end of his 5 years, whilst the others are at the beginning of their journeys.
What also struck us was the level of camaraderie. The apprentices got on extremely well together, with laughs and jokes in plentiful supply, and an obvious culture of helping each other out. We also met Kevin Webber, Head of Apprenticeship Schemes at Balfour Beatty. It was clear he knew each of his charges well, and evidently committed to their ongoing progression and welfare.
The decision between apprenticeships and undergraduate studies for young people is no longer simple, with opportunities such as those that exist within Balfour Beatty, young talent has a plethora of choices from which to choose their career path. No longer is the default track of school – college – university the only option. Apprenticeships are becoming more varied, higher level, with great companies and possess fantastic potential for career progression.
Look well! You are on the cusp of an exciting career!
To find out more about apprenticeships, visit http://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/.
To find out more about apprenticeships with Balfour Beatty, visit http://www.balfourbeatty.com/index.asp?pageid=364
To find out more about Kloodle, visit http://kloodle.com