This week (4-8th March) is National Apprenticeship Week 2019. We have two apprentices working on the Our Town Hall project, as part of the Manchester City Council M Futures programme. Our admin apprentice, Tyler, started with us in May last year.

We spoke to Tyler, as well as Judah and Matt from Our Town Hall, about their time working with Purcell. Throughout this week, we’ll be sharing their thoughts on apprenticeships in the architectural, design and construction industries. Today, we hear from Matt.

How did you find out about the apprenticeship scheme?

Towards the end of studying at college, I didn’t know what career I wanted to do so I was looking for a scheme that provided me the ability to experience several roles. I eventually found this apprenticeship scheme online.

What is the most important thing you have you learned from the scheme so far?

The scheme has provided me with many learning opportunities, but I think the most important thing that I have learned is how such a unique project is managed. The OTH project is quite challenging due to the restrictions on a Grade I listed building like, and I have enjoyed learning what tasks we need to do in what order to get building consent.

What has been your highlight so far?

My personal highlight on this scheme so far has to be learning more about the smaller details of the projects during the intrusive surveys. Having the opportunity to have sessions with industry experts on a specific area of the building has been really interesting, and has broadened my overall knowledge of building construction.

Would you recommend a similar apprenticeship scheme to others if they were considering it? Why?

I would definitely recommend a similar apprenticeship scheme to anyone, because the experience I have gained from working on a real-life project is invaluable — especially when you can apply it to what you are learning as part of your studies.

Describe your time working with Purcell in 3 words.

Friendly, inclusive and supportive.

Has the scheme changed your career aspirations or influenced what you want to do in the future?

Coming into the scheme, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do as a career. The experiences I have had so far have given me plenty to think about when I come to decide what I want to do next.

What kind of things have you been working on?

My rotations have meant that so far, I have been working in project management and quantity surveying. I have been involved in a wide range of tasks, from creating trackers for design documents to costing repairs on the project.

Has the scheme allowed you to develop your skills and improve your knowledge of the industry?

This scheme has been instrumental in broadening my understanding of the construction industry in a way that wouldn’t be possible going through any other scheme. The scheme provided experience in the industry and that has been invaluable in strengthening what I have been learning at college.

What did you hope to gain from the experience? Has it met your expectations so far?

When I started on this apprenticeship scheme, I wanted to gain experience and work-based knowledge that would allow me to decide on the career I wanted to pursue. The scheme has been excellent at giving me the experience I need so that I can make an informed choice to what I do next.