Kaya was an apprentice on our apprenticeship scheme. Have a read below to find out how he found it and where his new skills will take him in the future.
1. What was your situation (work/education) before your apprenticeship?
I started doing labouring work when I was about 13. I was doing ad/hoc days here and there – these were with private builders, rather than big companies such as Willmott Dixon. I was just about to start signing on for Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) when I heard about the Evolve Shared Apprenticeship scheme with CITB (Construction Industry Training Board).
2. Why did you decide on an apprenticeship, rather than classroom-based training?
My aim was to get into construction – either in carpentry orplumbing. My mum’s a plumber and I’ve always helped her out, andbeen on jobs with her. The experience of being on jobs whilegrowing up meant I knew from an early age what I wanted to do – Ijust wasn’t sure how I was going to get there. I think learning a trade is important, as you’ll never be out of work. Getting anapprenticeship is the best opportunity I’ve been given because I getpractical experience as well as getting accredited.
3. How does your route into work differ from what your friends are doing?
When I was younger many of my friends got into trouble a lot. After my young son was born it really focused my energy on making something of myself by getting trained and getting a proper job. I drifted away from those who got into trouble and now most of my friends are in the construction business.
4. How did you hear about the Evolve Shared Apprenticeship Scheme?
I was heading into the Job Centre to sign on for JSA, and was askingabout apprenticeships in construction. My advisor was helpful, butdidn’t know of anything available. Luckily another lady that worked there overheard me and told me about a guy called Dan (Dan Stone,CITB) who was coming in to do a talk about the sharedapprenticeship scheme the next day. I knew it was what I wanted todo and made my interest obvious straight away. I attended the talkwith Dan and got an interview not long after, which just happened to be on my 21st birthday!
5. Did you have any difficulty finding a construction based apprenticeship scheme?
I didn’t really think apprenticeships existed anymore to be honest. When I asked people I was working for, they told me construction apprenticeships were really difficult to get on to and a lot of people weren’t kept on once the job was finished. That’s one of the bestthings about this scheme. When I’m finished here I’ll carry onstraight to another site in London where I will be continuing my training. I was really lucky that things moved so quickly from going to the Job Centre to getting an interview. I know a lot of people who are out of work, I feel really fortunate.
6. What have you most enjoyed so far?
I feel I have a purpose to my day now, I love getting in to work,having lots to do and just generally being busy. I do one day a weekin college and the rest of the time I’m out working on site gaining skills from other people. I wouldn’t change anything about it!
7. Have any of your perceptions about employment in construction changed since starting the Apprenticeship?
I’d had a lot of experience before and knew about how thingsworked on site generally, but this is on a much bigger scale to what I’ve done before. It’s surprised me how many apprentices (allthrough CITB) have been given work here too. Another thing that’schanged is my perception of those working at the top. They’reactually more personable than I thought, and always encourage meto come up and ask for their advice or more responsibly.
8. Where do you see yourself in the future?
Since I started the apprenticeship I have been offered potential ways to move up in construction. If the right opportunities occur I might be able to do a building management course – something that I’d never have thought was in my reach before.