Lucas case study

LucasRead about Lucas's apprenticeship in civil engineering

How is your higher apprenticeship going?

I am now an apprentice civil engineering technician at JPG in Leeds doing a mixture of civils and geo-technic/geo-environmental engineering, which I love. I’m a few months in and I am loving my job! I am very glad I chose this path as university is not for everyone and I would strongly recommend higher apprenticeships to anyone.

What did you study and how did you decide what to do?

I studied geology, geography and chemistry at A level and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Coming to the end of college I wanted to study something using geology but didn't want to go to university. I ended up looking into the construction industry after being advised by my careers adviser from C&K Careers and it really sparked my interest, especially in civil engineering. My aim in the next five to 10 years is to achieve a degree in civil engineering and specialise in geo-technics, as this uses my passion for geology gained whilst doing A levels.

Where did you look for vacancies?

I mainly looked on the government apprenticeship website as it is the most used and favoured by businesses when advertising. It's also quick and easy to navigate and can send you notifications and alerts when new apprenticeships are put up. I did apply for quite a few on the government website, I can't remember exactly how many, maybe around 10. However, there are some companies that don't use the government website like Bam Nuttall or Network Rail, for example. You must go through their websites when applying for them which I did for Bam Nuttall and in the end was unsuccessful after interview stage.

You were successful in the end, what advice would you give someone looking for an apprenticeship?

Get help – if you don’t know where to start. My careers adviser also helped me with CV writing and the application process, along with mock interviews. My best advice would be to prepare and to apply early.

Research – researching the company you apply to is key and the best time to do this is at the start of the whole process, so you can then tailor your application to that company. This shows the employer you are interested in their company and want to work there. Focus on the positives of that company and include it in the application process. This may take longer, however, it gives you a big advantage over someone who hasn't done their research.

Enthusiasm – I believe the main thing employers want is a willingness to learn. Enthusiasm is key, especially at interview stage. At the end of the day you are doing an apprenticeship to learn new things, so the employer won't expect you to know everything, they just want to know you are keen to learn.

Page updated December 2019

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