West London scheme gives eight young people an apprenticeship
Hemel Hempstead, 6 March 2018 - As the UK’s national apprenticeship week launches (5-9 March), it has emerged that eight young people have gained their first taste of construction at a brand new West London multi-faith school which is preparing to open. Nishkam School in Isleworth gave the students their big break, thanks to construction company BAM.
Former Egham student Alfie Pocock, 18 – he went to Strode College and studied graphic design – joined WREN Construction as an apprentice plumber. He explained: ‘My dad took me around some of his jobs and I found it interesting. I found this job through the Government apprenticeship website during the last national apprenticeship week. Before that I was studying graphic design at college. I’d been there only a few months but already loved it. I helped with pipe fitting and rainwater installations. Then I started college again to run alongside my training on site.’
Alfie found himself joined by seven other young people. Although some have moved on to other jobs now, one who remains is Kristyna Bradacova, 22, doing an apprenticeship in business administration, funded through the new apprenticeship levy. ‘I also applied via the Government website. I was at a children’s nursery in Brentford before. I liked the people around me and it has been fascinating to see the building change. I’ve learned a lot about document control. I’m not tied to a specific career path right now but the apprenticeship has given me an opportunity to decide.’
Apart from Nishkam, BAM is behind some of the UK’s most impressive buildings, including the redevelopment of Kings Cross, Manchester City’s football academy, and the new Metropolitan Police HQ.
Kristyna likes what she has seen of construction so far. ‘The scale of the company is amazing. I researched the website and was impressed by all the things it does across this country and elsewhere.’
A third apprentice, Dom Gilius, is also still on site as an apprentice site manager, working with BAM but employed by the shared apprenticeship scheme Evolve. He says he was looking for a role like this. ‘I’ve been working on the G-bricks and parts of the roof to do with air-handling, and I am studying to level three in construction of the built environment at East Berkshire College in Slough. I’ll then go for level four at University. I’m excited about it because I’m progressing myself. I was working for Autoglass before and was doing a business course in Kingston. It’s brilliant to see the building grow. I feel that I’ve found the right route for my career.’
June Wilkinson, Education and Community Co-ordinator for BAM, adds: ‘The Government apprenticeship website is proving to be a useful and effective resource. The client here and the ESFA both want to see us help young people into the industry, and with so many of them finding their way, there has been a nice buzz to the team because of it and most were on their first construction scheme.’
The other young apprentices on the 1,400-place, £25 million new high school are: Billy-Jo Maguire, an apprentice plumber with Wren Construction; Charles Preston, an apprentice fixer with Middlesex Dryliners; Lewis Austen, an apprentice in mechanical operations with Team Pol, and Bailey Simpson-Grief, an apprentice electrician with GPH.
Funded via the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ASFA) the all-through school has a Sikh ethos but is multi-faith in outlook. BAM says the school will be finished in the summer and expects to open for the new term later this year.
Find out more: http://www.nishkamschooltrust.org/a-new-home-for-nishkam/
More information on apprenticeships can be found on BAM’s Early Careers Instagram page @BAMConstructearlycareers and @BAMUKCareers Twitter, where you can send direct messages.
Further information: Mark Slattery, Press and Media Manager, BAM Construct UK Ltd, 01442 238415.