Elizabeth is from London and is relishing her apprenticeship. Find out why she enjoys it so much, below. 

I used to work for a railway company and during this time I would see engineers come and go and I was inspired by their drawings and work – I wanted to dig deeper and find out what they actually did. One day, I had a discovery moment when I actually saw the full installation of laying track – from all the prep work through to the track itself. It was then that I realised that I wanted to learn more and have a career in this field.

I love this apprenticeship as it picks the brains of experts in every department during the rotation. You get exposed to such broad knowledge in such a short amount of time. There is so much to take in; it really is an amazing opportunity. There is a real structure; from day one we have been a part of the team and involved with important tasks and decisions.

I am excited to face newer and bigger projects. I have the chance to travel the world for work… I can’t wait to see what happens!

Rajan, 19 is from Birmingham and his dream career is to be a chartered civil engineer and project manager. Here, Rajan tells us how he’s making his dreams a reality through an apprenticeship.

This apprenticeship has everything really. I always knew I wanted to go into mechanical and civil engineering. I think it links back to my family history - my Grandad has a degree in mechanics and my other Grandad was involved with the rail industry. It was also the future prospects that attracted me to this role as well as the chance to travel and work abroad, which is something I might want to do. I am definitely more hands on but I do like the balance between theory and practical.

I really love the fact that I get to learn all about the infrastructure, the design and all the planning that goes into the project before the work even starts. I’ve had so many new experiences that I previously wouldn’t have thought possible.

What I really like about this apprenticeship is the training provided and the support from the staff. It’s so much better than my previous jobs in retail where I never really felt supported. Now, I feel like people really want to help me and see me succeed.

Carrie-Leigh Watkins is one of our youngest apprentices, she is currently working towards a City and Guilds Level 3 in business administration. Carrie-Leigh explains how this apprenticeship is proving exciting and eye-opening. 

“Although I did well at school, sitting in a classroom and being told what to do wasn’t for me. I was keen to get myself into the workplace so that I could work my way up and progress my career as best I could.

What I love about my apprenticeship is the fact that I feel so independent and responsible. At only 16, I haven’t been used to earning money, so it’s great to feel independent with a wage coming in every month.

I am making so many important connections with many professionals within the business. I feel extremely privileged that these important people put their trust in me to deliver the work they need me to.

The best thing about working for Kier is the people. I enjoy working with my colleagues, everybody is so friendly and helpful. The environment is positive and everybody is willing to help one another, when needed.

In addition, I enjoy the fact that I work for an internationally recognised company that is constantly growing, it’s a very exciting, interesting and great time to be at the company.”

Sam Taylor, 20, is currently training to become an electrician. He is an apprentice for Kier Living, working on the Waterside Place site in Birmingham. 

Here, Sam explains why he chose the apprenticeship route. I made the choice to pursue an apprenticeship after experiencing different educational environments, from sixth form to university. I found that a combination of theory and practical work suited me best and that’s why I chose an apprenticeship. I feel more confident in my abilities and I definitely feel this was the right career choice for me.

The best things about my apprenticeship are the sense of achievement when you complete a project and the trust that is bestowed on you. I work as part of a team but at times independently and I feel a great sense of pride and responsibility being able to deliver projects for the team.

It’s an environment where the work I complete matters – it has a direct impact on the team and the wider project. There are pressures and deadlines but working to meeting those extremely rewarding and you truly feel appreciated.

Since starting my apprenticeship with Kier, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many interesting people and as a result feel I have learnt so much and bettered myself. It has really helped with my confidence levels and I feel I am able to communicate with others better.

I’ve also noticed that my problem-solving skills have improved and I am able to think more clearly and analytically when trying to overcome problems – be that in a working or personal capacity. 

Working for Kier has drastically improved my work-life balance and helped me focus on what’s important to me and how to achieve my goals.

Craig, 25 from Swansea is a trainee site manager who is currently studying towards his CIOB Level 4 certificate in construction site management and an NVQ level 4 in Construction site supervision. Craig talks to us about his career in to construction, via the Royal Marines.

Following my career as a Royal Marines Commando, I decided to pursue a career in site management construction. This was as a result of some work experience in the field and it was apparent that an apprenticeship was the best route; allowing me to gain on site experience as well as gain the necessary academic qualifications. Learning the role of a site manager, whilst earning a wage is the best option for me. This is because I am a mature student with home life responsibilities including a mortgage.

The best thing about my apprenticeship is learning on site skills from my colleagues who have years of experience alongside picking up the academic skills in college. Doing an apprenticeship is the best way for me to learn as it offers hands on, practical experience, outside of the classroom. It’s great to be out onsite and seeing the construction project progress. I gain a great deal of satisfaction being part of a team, problem solving and interacting with different contractors.

The best thing about working for Kier is how much they value their apprentices and trainees. For example, they have set me up with a mentor from a different site to help with anything I need. In addition to this, the site team of the project I am currently working on are available for any advice and guidance. I value the collaborative ethos Kier promote and see it as a major strength of the company.

Kier develop their staff, by putting you through lots of different training courses and supporting you through your college qualifications. For example, I have been on SMSTS, First aid and environmental courses.

Megan, 19 is currently working towards her NVQ Level 4, Construction Management qualification. Here, Megan shares with us why she chose an apprenticeship and the hugely rewarding outcomes it’s offered.

I knew that a university degree was never going to suit my style of learning but I still wanted to gain a degree. By going for this apprenticeship with Kier, I knew that I could work towards a higher qualification whilst being hands on, getting experience in the workplace and still earn a good wage. The construction industry has always interested me as there are so many elements to it. By doing the management trainee programme alongside my NVQ I am able to experience all the different professions within the business.

The best thing about the apprenticeship is being able to see how a project starts, right from tendering all the way to the handover. Being on site everyday means that I get to see the building progress throughout all stages which is hugely rewarding.

Kier is great to work for and I am especially grateful to my co-workers, who are always there to support me with work and even teaching. I’ve also been able to work on some great opportunities to help with charity projects, such as ‘The House’ in St Austell.

Paolo Avagnano, 18 is working towards a Level 3 Civil engineering apprenticeship (NVQ). Paolo explains how his brother inspired him to choose an apprenticeship.

“I finished my A levels and after doing some research into university and apprenticeships I decided that the apprenticeship route was right for me. My brother opted to take an apprenticeship over other higher education options and he has really enjoyed it. Plus, the fact you are learning and earning at the same time, it made complete sense for me to choose this option too.

In my opinion, the best thing about my apprenticeship is the professional connections I am gaining at such a young age, whilst gaining invaluable experience at the same time. I think that it is key - to try and get as much experience as possible. Why I think this is on a long-term basis there will be the opportunity to diversify and to try other areas of the business. I am armed with so much knowledge which wouldn’t have been the same if, for example, I had gone to university and then started in a job after a few years’ time.

The best thing about working for Kier is the friendly atmosphere in the working environment. Since starting my apprenticeship, everyone has been very helpful and been keen in trying to help me learn and understand different aspects of the industry, which has driven me to working harder and I feel motivated to continue to learn new things.”