National Apprenticeship Week
8 February 2023
Gabriel joined Currie & Brown in 2021 after completing his A Levels and was keen to develop his skills in the construction industry.
We asked Gabriel what ‘s good and what’s not so good about being an apprentice.
My initial journey into apprenticeship was a bit of a rollercoaster. Having to balance working a 9-5 job and studying for a degree can be compared to being thrown into the deep end in your first swimming lesson. You enter the real world and begin your career journey at a faster rate than most other pupils. You feel the pressure to have to quickly learn things that you have never come across before. This can be quite daunting for someone who has just finished their level 3 qualifications whether that be A levels or BTEC. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I hope these tips/lessons I have learnt from my first year as an apprentice can be of benefit.
- Ask questions. Everyone has heard of the saying ‘no question is a dumb question’. This is ever so important when doing an apprenticeship that requires you to become proficient in a full-time role whilst studying the theory behind it at an academic institution. Ask as many questions as possible (within reason) regarding your work, why you are doing it and how to improve. This is how you will gain more knowledge step by step and it will prevent you from falling into mistakes that could be detrimental. You will find that even people with years of experience still have some questions, so the learning never really ends until you retire.
- Get a mentor. By having someone you can refer back to who will help you digest the technicalities behind your work. Your mentor should be somebody that understands your line of work and understands challenges in your day-to-day work.
- Manage your priorities and not time. There is a common misconception that we can manage our time when in fact really, we are managing our priorities, because time will leave us whether we like it or not. If you know you have differing tasks, both at work and at university, then rank which ones are most important and act accordingly. This will help you meet deadlines as well as manage the big workload that you will acquire progressively.