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 Judah.

How did you find out about the apprenticeship scheme?

I found out about the scheme through a friend on the Manchester Life Apprenticeship scheme (M-Futures sibling scheme). He told me about his experiences which sparked my interest, and the rest is history.

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

Having never previously worked in construction, my knowledge of the industry was extremely limited. The working knowledge of the industry that I now possess is the most important thing that I have learnt. The unique nature of the scheme, exposing me to various positions within the industry (Project Manager, Quantity Surveyor, Architect, Landscape Architect, MEP Engineer and Structural Engineer), has provided me with unrivalled experience and knowledge that few other schemes would be able to provide within as little as two years.

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

Yes.The university and apprenticeship paths are both fruitful ways in which you can enter the working world, with their own advantages and disadvantages. Apprenticeships can provide you with the opportunity to undertake academic qualifications that can rival a degree whilst providing real-life experience that degrees simply don’t.

I pursued this apprenticeship scheme because I was unsure of the career path I wanted to pursue — a circumstance many young people find themselves in. Based on what I had researched, I was keen on the idea of a career in Project Management or Quantity Surveying but without any long-term experience how can you really know? The same applied to my hesitance to commit to a university course and undertake a degree for a job in which I had next to no experience (one week’s work experience probably isn’t enough to tell you if a job is right for you). This lack of certainty was a huge factor in my decision to undertake an apprenticeship. By completing an apprenticeship, you can gain academic qualifications to rival those of a degree whilst gaining invaluable work experience, all the while with a positive financial outcome.

Describe your time working with Purcell in 3 words.

Diverse. Quick. Educational.

What kind of things have you been working on?

So far, I have completed my placement with Mace (Project Managers), Planit-ie (Landscape Architect), Arup (MEP Engineers), Ramboll (Structural Engineers) and Faithful and Gould (Quantity Surveyor), as well as Purcell. Throughout these placements I have been involved with a variety of tasks; from completing Ground Condition Inspections with Planit-ie, organising intrusive surveys with Ramboll to managing Stakeholder Engagement with Mace.

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

The scheme has provided me with unrivalleded experience and skills. The opportunity to work across six different disciplines over two years is unlike any apprenticeship scheme I have ever seen and has definitely improved upon my skills and knowledge.