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Apprentice Survival Tip: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.”

National Apprenticeship Week 2015
14th March 2016

Apprentice Survival Tip: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.”

Apprenticeship Survival Tip

Family Business

I’ve been working as an Apprentice Quantity Surveyor at Interserve since September 2014. I’ve always had an interest in Construction and Engineering as my father is a construction project manager and my brother is a quantity surveyor. Shortly after starting A-Levels at sixth form I decided it wasn’t the way I wanted to progress my career – I felt I was still being treated as a child and wanted to take the next step, moving into a role with more responsibility in a new environment.

I applied online through the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust (CSTT) – an industry body that helps current and aspiring quantity surveyors to find courses and training that will allow them to move to the next step in their career – which put me in touch with Interserve.

Since the start of the course my negotiation skills and self-confidence have skyrocketed and I put this down to the different dynamic of an apprenticeship, compared to school where you sit and listen. In my apprenticeship I have more independence and have to push through my opinion more. I have more responsibility and enjoy this aspect, although I do find it challenging. Every day is different and I like having varied work to do.

Building a Memory

I had the privilege of working on a very special project when I was part of the team building a leisure centre in Wednesbury, Birmingham, and it’s something I’m very proud of. Joel Richards was a local teenager who was an aspiring football referee. Unfortunately he was caught up in the Tunisia terrorist attack in June last year. The sports hall was named after him and to me is very symbolic, like a memorial. Being part of the team that made that happen is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

It’s the possibility of working on projects like this that makes me sure I’ve picked the right career path. In the future I’d like to project manage on something like this, once I’m a qualified quantity surveyor.

Next Steps

There is a definite process to go through to become fully qualified. As an apprentice you need to get a BTEC in construction and an NVQ to get onto a university course. Interserve is helping me with this and I will be attending the University of Wolverhampton when I finish my two-year apprenticeship in June.

I would recommend the apprentice scheme at Interserve to anyone. Being such a big company it has all the resources you need to succeed, and a support framework that is in the business’s DNA to help anyone, no matter their seniority, job role or age.

Amber Phillips has worked at Interserve since September 2014 as an Apprentice Quantity Surveyor based at George Road.

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