WOW thank you everyone!
During my A Levels I worked at the local laser tag arena as a Games Marshal. My main responsibility was to give the 20 minute speech before you go into the game!
Construction/Civil Engineering Apprentice
VINCI Construction UK
Various work placements allow me to travel throughout the UK, overseeing and managing the action on building sites whilst giving me to opportunity to discover the energetic and ever-changing life of the construction industry.
I started my apprenticeship in October last year. Me and the other apprentices were all 17-19 year olds who had all either left sixth form after year 12 or just completed A levels. We were from across the country, including London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Brighton, etc.
I am currently studying a Level 3 BTEC in Construction and the Built Environment, and am working towards a Level 3 NVQ in Construction Contracting Operations. After the 2 years, I will have chance to study for a further 2 years on my Level 4 & 5 – with the chance to do a 1 year top-up to earn degree status – if necessary.
Since December I have been working on my first site. I am working on the Royal College of Art in Battersea, London. On the 20th April I will be returning to college until the 8th June, where I will start on another site. Getting to travel somewhere new – which I absolutely love!
I am not yet specialised in anything in particular – this will happen in a year or so, when I have had enough experience in the real world of work to understand what I want to aim towards. Some of the options are Civil Engineer, Site Engineer, Mechanical & Electrical Engineer, Design Engineer or more!
My Typical Day
3 main parts to my daily work on site: Health and Safety, Quality Assurance and General Management
As the most dangerous industry, a large part of what I have been learning on the job is health and safety management. I have learnt to report dangerous situations, ensure correct PPE (personal protective equipment) is worn, checking workers qualifications, machinery certifications and given site inductions. I have been working closely with the site management team to ensure the projects are completed on time, on budget and to the correct specifications – and trust me when I say this – there are more problems than you could imagine. I am largely responsible for quality assurance, snagging existing works to ensure they are to the correct standard. I have also been introduced to commercial systems including tendering and payment processes, and have already learnt to work alongside clients. In fact, the architect of this project won the RIBA Architect of the year in 2014 – claim to fame!
What I'd do with the money
I will use the money to launch a competition at a local school – and organise for the winners to go and see some of the view from the Shard, to see some of London’s best examples of construction.
The competition will invite students from all years, backgrounds and abilities, to showcase their solutions to current construction issues – using any form they want (e.g. video, letter, design, presentation etc.). Examples of current construction issues include building for sustainability, population growth, and natural disasters.
I will personally select the winners (10-15 students), and fund the trip to see some of London’s best sights – and learn how they were made. Hopefully this will encourage them to get involved in the future. This will take the majority of the winnings, I estimate around £350.
With my winnings I would also like to kick-start a blog – giving advice on apprenticeships and giving people the chance to ask questions. I would repost and comment on articles I found interesting – particularly designing for disaster management! This should take about £50.
I would donate the rest of the money to “shaping the world”, an appeal ran by ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers). Shaping the World work to address the following 7 issues:
Worldwide infrastructure of a growing population
Growing energy demands
Infrastructure in developing countries
Global learning and knowledge sharing
Financing the future
Worldwide standards of excellence
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Curious, Ambitious, Reliable
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I’m easily pleased, I just love live music! My favourites live have been Eminem, Chase & Status and Avicii. Although, I am a big fan of George Ezra and hope to see him soon!
What's your favourite food?
I could eat endless amounts of sweet potato fries.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I went on a tour of Iceland in 2013 and went snorkelling between the tectonic plates! Got to see plenty volcanoes and waterfalls – which as a bit of a geography freak, I loved!
What did you want to be after you left school?
I knew that I wanted to go into engineering with the built environment sector – just wasn’t sure which type of engineer!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Well… I’d be lying if I said no… My main offence was eating during lesson (oops!)
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
I’m still new and training, so admittedly I haven’t done anything too fancy yet… but I have definitely enjoyed the fact that I get to travel to new places every few months!
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?
I knew that I wanted to work in the built environment, but I couldn’t go to university for engineering because I didn’t take Maths and Physics at A Level. I had been offered a place at Brighton University to study Architecture before I came across the apprenticeship opportunity!
Tell us a joke.
How does NASA organize their company parties? They planet.
If you would like to get more of a grasp on what VINCI Construction UK do, then watch this video!
(This is a YouTube link, so sorry if you can’t see it at school!)
A photo of the other apprentices and myself, 2 girls and 16 boys!
Drawings, drawings, drawings…
A photo of myself using a total station – this can tell you how far away something is, and can compare it to other distances. This is very important in ensuring good quality!
The building that I’m working on at the moment is almost finished…
…But there is construction around every corner in London, and I won’t get bored of it!
Thank you f