Monica Paul, Social Value Manager at Morgan Sindall Construction sat down with one of our apprentices working on the Manor Road project.
Ethan O’Brian started his 2-year apprenticeship as a Site Manager during the pandemic. Previously, to securing the apprenticeship Ethan, then a 20-year-old was working long hours at TK Maxx, starting at 4am. Ethan’s goal was to get into construction, so registered with K10 an ATA (Apprenticeship Training Agency) to seek an opportunity in construction. K10 organised a site visit for a group of young people including Ethan at one of our sites, that is when Ethan got a 3-week work experience placement with Morgan Sindall Construction. During the placement, Ethan’s passion for construction became even more apparent, his eagerness to learn and gain hands on experience was evident. That is when Lee Askey, Project Director, offered Ethan an apprenticeship.
In March 2020 during the peak of Covid-19, Ethan started a Level 4, Project Management, at West Herts College, Watford.
So, what did Ethan say about his apprenticeship journey?
My apprenticeship came at a unique time as I joined during lockdown. The Morgan Sindall apprenticeship process was straightforward and easy. I had a 3-week work experience placement with Morgan Sindall Construction, after coming on a site visit with K10. Soon after my work experience ended, I was offered an apprenticeship with Morgan Sindall Construction, I couldn’t believe it! I was on a three-month probation, which I passed and in September of this year, I will have completed my 2 year apprenticeship.
The most interesting part of my apprenticeship is going on site; I enjoy that aspect the most and to be on site physically is amazing experience. The most challenging part is the exams, finding and making time to revise. The one-day a week for independent study has helped me do my course work and to revision. I have improved my time management which I didn’t feel I had at the start of my apprenticeship, so this has improved massively. Working in the office is least interesting for me, because I prefer to be outside working and being on site.
Ethan carried on to say…
I would recommend apprenticeship, instead of university as it provides hands on experience and your qualification is paid for. You must be committed for several years and it is a long-term commitment. I would say don’t waste your time and other peoples time if an apprenticeship isn’t what you really want. You could be taking an opportunity that someone else could have had. To all young people considering an apprenticeship, be prepared to be in a working environment, you need to be mature as you will be working with adults. It’s a big commitment and be preferred to miss out on some social aspects in your life. It gets difficult at time but worth seeing it through to the end. If in doubt speak to your line manager for support. Speak to your line manager about progression too.
My apprenticeship has been a positive experience, there isn’t much downside. I am happy I have had constant employment, constant work and kept busy. There is a lot of security in terms of employment and getting a regular income. You get so many benefits and I would highly recommend an apprenticeship with Morgan Sindall.
This apprenticeship came to me at a really good time as we were hit with the pandemic. Before, securing this apprenticeship I was doing 4am shifts and I really wanted to find something I would enjoy, I wanted to get into construction - thank you Morgan Sindall Construction for the opportunity.