National Apprenticeship Week runs annually from 4 March to 8 March and aims to to highlight the impact apprenticeships have on individuals, employers and the economy.
Kemell Davidson, 20, – currently a Platt and Reilly apprentice fixer/dryliner – decided to attend a pre-employment course at the Southwark Construction Skills Centre to work for a building qualification and obtain a Construction Skills Certification Scheme card. At the same time, the Peabody Housing Association – which owns and manages around 55,000 homes in London and the south east – referred Kemell to K-10, a Southwark-based shared apprenticeship provider.
Shortly afterwards, Platt and Reilly contacted K-10 asking for candidates to apply for an apprenticeship, one of whom was Kemell.
He took part in a week-long work trial, which he successfully passed, and was offered an 18-month apprenticeship, during which he is studying for a Drylining Level 2 NVQ diploma.
Kemell says: “I’m really enjoying my time here at Elephant Park and I am learning different skills all the time. I love working in construction so much that I tell all my friends and family they should consider a career in construction too! My aim is to become a fixing supervisor and own my own business one day.”
Southwark resident and apprentice Brogan McGuiness was out of work for four months before being referred to Be Onsite – the award-winning not-for-profit company founded by Lendlease to help disadvantaged people make a positive change in their lives.
Following an interview process, Cilantro, an Elephant Park mechanical and electrical contractor, appointed Brogan as a trainee document controller. The 24-year-old successfully completed a sixth-month placement before being offered a permanent contract with the firm within business administration where she will complete her NVQ Level 3 qualification.
Although Brogan has only just started her apprenticeship, she feels it is going well and is looking forward to the future. Her brother, who is also employed at Elephant Park, is set to begin an apprenticeship with mechanical and electrical contractor HE Simms in September.
Lendlease Higher Apprentice and Southwark resident Lauren Sheppard, has taken a different route to her career with the construction industry..
Lauren was an intern at a recruitment firm for a few months before applying for a digital marketing Level 3 NVQ Apprenticeship at Lendlease. She heard about the scheme through the WhiteHatapprenticeship company, which matched her to the Lendlease opportunity, where she successfully passed the interview stage.
The 22-year-old had felt university was not an option for her; she didn’t want the burden of fees and believed there was no real certainty of gaining employment in her chosen profession at the end of the course. For Lauren, earning a salary while gaining hands-on experience was more appealing.
Having always thought construction sites were all about men in high-vis workwear, Lauren had never considered a career in construction. Now having discovered this is not the case, Lauren is enjoying her role, which includes managing the Elephant Park social media accounts, and is looking forward to a successful career in the field of marketing.