The importance of apprenticeships

Posted: 10/10/2019

With the notable shortage of skilled workers in the industry and an aging workforce, there has never been a better time to look at starting an apprenticeship in the construction industry.

With over 100 different roles ranging from bricklaying, plastering to more technical, planning or supervisory role there are plenty of different opportunities to gain the skills, knowledge and experience you need as well as ‘earning while you learn.’

Shawn Hutchinson joined the team at Wooddene Estate in Peckham as an apprentice bricklayer. Higgins is currently building the £70 million scheme for Notting Hill Genesis which will feature 333 mixed tenure homes and flexible retail and office space as well as car and cycle parking, landscaping and a new energy centre.

Shawn had always liked the idea of working in construction after spending time labouring for his Grandad. He started on a maintenance course at college in 2012 and when his tutor saw his bricklaying, he encouraged him to change to a bricklaying course.

Shawn said, “At the start I found it hard to find work and would visit sites handing out my CV and no one would call me back. Then I visited Higgins and they offered me an interview and I started on site shortly after.

“There is a lot of variety of work on this site, one day I could be laying blocks, the next day bricks and sometimes we are doing snagging and repair work. It’s really good because you get to learn lots of different elements of the role.

“You can’t miss a day, no matter the weather and you have to be on site for 7.30am. I found the written part of the apprenticeship difficult, but I have had a lot of people support and help me.

“If you are willing to work hard and learn, an apprenticeship is a great way to get qualified and ready for the future.” Shawn has recently completed his apprenticeship in bricklaying and has been given a full-time role with one of Higgins subcontractors.

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