CoTrain

News: NAW 2020: Alex Ferguson & Josh Saunders at Kier

05 February 2020

Spotlight on CoTrain Apprentices - life as an apprentice


To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2020, we take a look at two of our apprentices at Kier - Alex Ferguson and Josh Saunders - to see how they're getting along.

Alex Ferguson, Foreman & CoTrain Apprentice at Kier

How did your first few months go as an apprentice?

The first few months were mainly getting my head around larger construction sites and what processes were involved.

What was your experience of college?

The experience of college was a good, meeting different people from variety of backgrounds. Some straight out of school and others who have previously worked in different industries and wanted to change to construction.

What are your tasks on site and how have your responsibilities increased as you gained experience?

The tasks to start off with were mainly shadowing site manager/ project managers and them giving you tasks such as ordering materials and setting up orders. After a couple of months, once you’ve got your feet under the table, the next step is looking after sub-contractors and monitoring their works. And if managers are away covering their works.

Additional training, volunteering & community days

During my apprenticeship, I attended schools to try and get children interested in construction.

The guidance offered

The guidance I was given whilst working on site was invaluable to get an understanding of how elements are built in a safe manner and working to a sequence.

High point

Completing my apprentice and having the platform to carry on a career with Kier.

Achievements

Receiving the CoTrain apprentice of the month as my name was put forward by the project manager and site managers on site.


Josh Saunders, Foreman & CoTrain Apprentice at Kier

How did your first few months go as an apprentice?

In the first few months, it was a process of getting into the daily routine of the site and following around the site team until I had grown enough confidence to enter the site unsupervised as I hadn’t been on a construction site prior to this job role. I was given a lot of information from both colleagues and site workforce, but that was supported by their guidance/knowledge. I soon adjusted to the site working day and process. I used to walk a mile in the morning to the bus stop and then get one of only 2 buses into Reading (location of my first site) which was difficult at first but I became accustomed to shortly.

What was your experience of college?

My entire time at college was supported by the friendly teacher that understood the course and the constraints of site work which was good. I also had the support of the NVQ assessor that knew the requirements and was also helpful.

What are your tasks on site and how have your responsibilities increased as you gained experience?

At first, my tasks on site were based following the site team around and understanding their daily routines and managing the filing of drawings, which is important to know how the structures are getting built and fitted out. After a few months, I was given the task of managing the labour force on site, snagging and internal fit out of tables, chairs etc. On my second site, I was given the role to manage the internal trades of the 3 logistics buildings with the drylining and M&E contractors with support and guidance from the team. On my 3rd and current project, I am managing the external cladding and roofing (to which I produced a small presentation to my team on my understanding of the projects drawings and build), glazing, metal decking, latter part of steelwork snagging, intumescent painting and the internal lift.

Additional training, volunteering & community days

I was put on the following training courses: First aid at work, Asbestos awareness, CAT & genny, Mewps for managers

The guidance offered

Lots of daily support from the site team with expertise offered and assistance where needed with site work and college assignments.

High point:

Managing people successfully

Achievements

  • Completed 3 large scale projects and gained a lot of knowledge
  • Completed NVQ and level 3 in around 15 months

What are your career aspirations?

I want to climb the ladder up the chain and use my position to benefit others, such as community days or helping local communities with larger scale projects.


To find out more about shared apprenticeships with CoTrain: www.cotrain.org.uk 

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