National Apprenticeship Week: We interviewed our Construction Trainee, Toby who shared his apprenticeship experience!

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National Apprenticeship Week: We interviewed our Construction Trainee, Toby who shared his apprenticeship experience!

National Apprenticeship Week

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, we chatted with Construction Trainee, Toby who revealed how his course was shaping his confidence and where he sees himself in the future.

Last week was National Apprenticeship Week 2023 which came with its annual celebration of apprenticeships. The theme has been ‘skills for life’, so we took this as the perfect opportunity to talk to apprentice Toby about the expertise he is developing and the influence it is having on his career growth.

He draws on his experiences and the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship…

Talk me through your training journey at Palace Green Homes.

I joined Palace Green Homes in February 2020 and was taken on as a construction trainee. Since then, I have gained a forklift driving and excavator license as well as enrolled on an NVQ Level 4 Apprenticeship course in Construction Management.

Over the past three years, Palace Green Homes have been extremely supportive and I feel fortunate for their encouragement in taking the plunge to begin the course!

Tell us about any achievements you’ve had since starting at Palace Green Homes.

An achievement for me is definitely looking at how much I have grown in confidence. I have seen a large improvement in my communication skills and can speak to people on all levels, from customers and contractors to clients.

Working alongside site managers – one who happens to be my dad! – has taught me a great deal. I work closely with people who inspire me so I’m continually gaining knowledge that I can apply to my own work and development.

Plus, starting the NVQ! The learning and insight that I have soaked up so far and seeing how it has shaped my growth as a person and in my career is an achievement.

You should be really proud of yourself. It’s an incredible commitment and shows your passion. Where are you hoping the training scheme will take you in your career?

I hope to move up the ladder into management. I would love to eventually run my own site as a project manager. With the apprenticeship course as well as working with site managers who support me daily, I feel I’m on the right path.

Why did you choose to do the apprenticeship?

My current role isn’t originally what I set out to do, but when I began in the industry with family, Palace Green Homes recognised me and employed me on the current site I am on now, in Haddenham. I enjoyed it more and more and have been offered incredible opportunities since, including the apprenticeship.

As corny as it sounds, Palace Green Homes saw my potential and believed in me. As well as providing me with the resources I need to tackle my apprenticeship, they have encouraged me to pursue my hobbies. Recently, Jo from the sales team asked me to film some site footage showing progress on a project I’m currently involved in. I created a drone video that I am proud of, made possible by my colleague’s motivation.

You can find the video here.

What advice would you give to others who are considering a training scheme/apprenticeship?

If you are interested in a career in construction, apprenticeships are an ideal next step. They will open doors to a future of working in a field that makes you happy.

In terms of construction, there is a huge variety of options – including architecture, engineering, bricklaying, surveying and more.

To those embarking on the start of their career with an apprenticeship, I’d say – don’t rush! Experiencing the hands-on whilst having the opportunity to study and train is exciting, but make sure to pace yourself and schedule time in with your tutor.

I’m fortunate to have a reassuring and understanding manager who regularly catches up with me about how I’m balancing my course alongside our day-to-day job. Everyone helps regardless of their department – from finance to sales, providing support and information that pushes me further.

The team is like a family and I am never without advice. Studying whilst working means that every day is a learning day for me!

Read more about the site Toby works on here.