After leaving school at 16 and starting a Level 3 in Construction and the Build Environment at college, I was supported in producing a CV and gaining some interview experience. One thing led to another and after finishing my first-year full-time at college, I was transferring onto the part-time course and beginning my apprenticeship.
An apprenticeship was never something I’d investigated because of the lack of support from my secondary school but once I had my mind set on an industry to work in, starting an apprenticeship seemed like the most sensible route to gain experience and my degree. Being an apprentice isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t the easy way out of education. You must be focused and willing to dedicate time to your studies, as working full-time whilst doing a degree requires commitment and good time management. But the experience you gain at work becomes invaluable at university and seeing the academic applications in real-life makes the degree even more rewarding.
The support I’ve had from my employer, AECOM, has been a lifesaver. As well as many other things, there are incentives to take revision days around the exam periods and being surrounded by people who have worked in the industry for much longer than myself, who have completed degrees in a variety of subjects, provides a wealth of knowledge and additional resources I have access to. With the right mindset and desire to progress, an apprenticeship will enable you to springboard both your academic studies and your working life, providing a solid foundation for the rest of your career.
Now, nearing the end of my fifth year as an apprentice and with little over one year until I graduate, I have a bank of industry specific skills as well as a strong, supportive network of colleagues and friends.
Visit our Degree Apprenticeships pages to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities and the courses we offer at Leeds Beckett.