Driving professional growth through apprenticeships
When it comes to skills and talent, ‘growing our own’ has always been embedded into our business. Apprenticeships are just one way in which we invest and develop our people, but they play an important part in allowing us to tap into the skills and talent available across our regions.
We want to ensure that people within our communities are equipped with the skills to achieve a meaningful career, regardless of gender, ethnicity or background. Apprenticeships, whatever level they may be at, help businesses and individuals to address the skills gaps within our communities and wider economies, encouraging fairer opportunities for people going into work.
A shining example of what can be achieved through apprenticeships can be seen through the growth of our Professional Construction Apprentice, Sam Bailey. Originally starting a Philosophy degree, Sam decided university education wasn’t for him. Working part time after leaving his course, Sam decided to opt for an apprenticeship. “I wasn’t good at exams which is one of the reasons I left university,” explains Sam. “I think apprenticeships level the playing field for people who struggle with exam scenarios.”
Attending college one day a week and working four days a week at Bruntwood, Sam was able to learn both academically and on the job, taking what he’d learned in college back into his day-to-day role.
Learning on the job provides a completely different experience to traditional academic teaching. “It’s the job satisfaction that I’ve enjoyed the most,” explains Sam. “I love walking up Oxford Road [in Manchester], seeing Circle Square and thinking, ‘I’ve helped on that’. It’s nice that there’s a tangible product at the end of your work that reminds you of what you’ve achieved. If I walk past Circle Square in my 50s I’ll always be able to say that I played a small part in bringing that to life.”
On completing his course, Sam was awarded M-Futures Apprentice of the Year, something the whole business is especially proud of him for.
Throughout his apprenticeship, Sam has been guided by his team at Bruntwood, answering any questions and making sure he has the knowledge and support he needs. “Everyone has been really accommodating. So it’s been good to work with people in a wide range of roles, and they’ve all been really nice. It’s really their help that’s allowed me to get the award for Apprentice of the Year,” says Sam.
“Next year, through Bruntwood, I’ll be doing a degree apprenticeship and there will be exams there, but I feel I’ll be in a better position to apply myself having gained some on-the-job experience.”
So what would Sam say to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship? “I’d say take the chance if you can. It’s a great opportunity because, in the past, if you weren’t as traditionally academic a lot of career opportunities would be closed off, and apprenticeships are changing that.”
Stay tuned for our apprenticeship opportunities for this year, just keep an eye on our careers page here.