I’m Max and I’m 22 years old, from London and I am in the 2nd year of my apprenticeship. I work on the Thames Tideway project as a materials technician apprentice, this role involves testing a number of different materials in a laboratory environment. Materials include aggregate and various different designs of concrete.
Before I began my apprenticeship I was at a Rugby academy and studying sports science alongside it, also I was working 2 part-time jobs as a rugby coach and event security.
I had previously completed an apprenticeship in carpentry, I very much enjoyed the learning and working process, however, I didn’t think that the trade was for me, but I did like the construction industry. So once I was leaving the academy I decided to look for an opportunity within construction, but something a little bit more towards the engineering side of things. I stumbled across materials engineering and with little knowledge of it I applied for an apprenticeship with Balfour Beatty.
I hope to gain enough experience in my current role to help me to progress onto a different role within the same department. The engineering side of things is my biggest interest and I would very much like to work within that area of the department.
My favourite thing about my apprenticeship is learning from a wide variety of personalities within the lab and also getting valuable site experience on a huge project, which is literally changing the way London and the south will function.
My family is very supportive and happy to see me progress. When I told them about the opportunity they were very happy, they are now glad I have found a career I enjoy. My family thinks I have matured a lot and gained a massive sense of responsibility for myself and my job.
My advice to anyone thinking about starting an apprenticeship is to find something that you are interested in, don’t just jump at the first opportunity that presents itself. Also, look for an apprenticeship that presents a ladder to higher aspirations, don’t settle for mediocrity, everyone starts somewhere.
Tell us about you and your job role:
I am a Laboratory Technician apprentice, I carry out a variety of tests on a wide range of materials used in the construction of the Thames Tideway sewers.
What were you doing before the apprenticeship?
Before the apprenticeship, I was at rugby academy and working with a youth rugby coaching company, I also worked in security.
What inspired you to start the apprenticeship?
I saw the advert for the role on the apprenticeships.gov website and it caught my attention straight away. I applied and got the job, and I haven’t looked back since.
What are your aspirations for the future & how will your apprenticeship help you get there?
My aspirations are to become a materials engineer, this apprenticeship will help me and put me well on the way towards it.
What do you enjoy about the apprenticeship?
I like that it changes constantly due to the different stages of the project.
What do your friends and family think about the apprenticeship?
My mum and dad are both pleased with my progress and attitude towards work. My other friends and family are very supportive of me, they believe since starting the apprenticeship I have an improved work ethic and time management skills. I have also become more invested in work now that I have found a job that interests me.
What advice would you give to other people thinking about starting an apprenticeship?
Make sure you fully understand and learn about the job role you are starting, Don’t just read the job title and expect it to be exactly how you picture it.