Apprenticeships

My experience with the Apprenticeship scheme as an employer

As mentioned in our previous blog, it’s National Apprenticeship Week and as an employer, I’m very happy to give my thoughts on the subject of apprenticeships. We were very fortunate when choosing our apprentice as she has been a real credit to the apprenticeship system and to Building Tectonics. Personally speaking, education and educational establishments exist in a parallel universe to the one that working people inhabit, but nonetheless, education is important and if anything could bridge the gap between the two worlds then the apprenticeship scheme can be heralded as an advance towards that goal.

Our Apprentice did an IT apprenticeship and even though as a company we do have IT skills, they don’t cover the range of knowledge that is studied in an IT course. So we now have a member of the team who went through the apprenticeship scheme with an overall knowledge of what we do and how we do it using IT, and also has a smattering of knowledge that has seen us through the worst calamities that IT has thrown at us to date. May long it be the case.

Having now seen how useful the apprenticeship system can be, what saddens me is that there is no apprenticeship that is really geared up for our industry yet. I find it extraordinary that this is the case, given the fact that so many people are engaged in the areas of building and architectural technology, and that skills are so woefully lacking. I’ve been talking to my professional body, CIAT, about pushing such an apprenticeship up our agenda; it seems that there is the Construction Design and Build Technician Apprenticeship but few apprenticeship providers offer this particular course because they don’t think there is enough demand to warrant it.

I believe that if the government is serious about building new houses (minus the faults recently reported in the press) on the scale that is nationally needed, we’d better start thinking about building technology and treating this subject with the importance it deserves.

Written by Tony Keller, Building Tectonics.

Apprenticeships

I’m an apprentice.

We have an event coming up, which is all about what it’s like having an apprentice in a small business, and so I thought I’d write about the other side of that – what it’s like as an apprentice going into a small business.

My name’s Jade, and I’m currently doing an apprenticeship studying to become a qualified IT technician whilst working at Building Tectonics.

Previous to working at Building Tectonics, I completed a course at Bletchley college, acquiring a BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design, and a level two certificate in communications. I have also exhibited some of my artwork from that course in Milton Keynes shopping centre, outside John Lewis. Even with these qualifications and the experience, it was still very difficult to find a job around my area within the field of art.

I decided that I’d steer away from this when looking for a new job this year as the job which I was in at the time wasn’t fulfilling enough. I had a real interest in technology and computers, so I thought that it would be a logical move to pursue a career in IT. I did some research into the apprenticeship scheme and thought that it sounded promising, due to the fact that you can get qualifications and experience from them, neither of which I had in the field of IT.

I applied for the apprenticeship I am currently doing at the moment and had a very quick response from Nitp. I have completed the college side of the apprenticeship, which was quite intense as the whole apprenticeship was meant to be a two-year course, but they condensed it down to one year. It could be a bit quickly paced at times, but I got through it.

After hearing about Building Tectonics and the fact that they were looking for someone to help with the IT side of things, I got an interview and now I help with any IT support which is needed here, for example; fixing any faults which may occur with any of our machines, maintaining and updating our website. I also handle much of the marketing here, including working on the website, writing blogs,  keeping track of our social networks, creating leaflets and posters for events among any other things which need doing.

It has been a real experience so far, as in the ‘real world’ I’ve not only been learning all of the things which I need to know to complete the qualifications to be a technician, but working at Building Tectonics I’ve also been learning about the architectural process, how to draw some of the architectural drawings within that process among many other things. So I’m getting a lot more than I expected from this experience. I feel lucky to have this experience, and believe that apprenticeships are a very good way for anyone looking to get into a completely new career.

Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics Ltd.