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Interview with Apprentice Harriet Atkinson

15 February 2021

We have caught up this week with one of our apprentices, Harriet Atkinson, a trainee technician in our Manchester Office…..

What qualification route are you following Harriet?

I’m doing an HNC BTEC in Construction and the Built Environment (Civil Engineering) Apprenticeship. I have been doing my apprenticeship for 4 months so I'm quite new to the world of construction, I still have a lot to learn and his is my first apprenticeship.

What sort of things do you do in a typical day?

I am employed as a Trainee Technician within the Buildings and Built Environment Group (Structures Team). Tasks include drawing/modelling in 2D and 3D software such as AutoCAD and Revit, revising a model as the design develops throughout a project (as per a structural engineers designs). This includes modelling steelwork, foundations, detailing, drawing where lintels, bedrock reinforcement, movement joints go on house elevations/plans etc. Using this software allows for the effective flow of information to be provided to a contractor or to aid with other professional's designs e.g. architects. 

Why were you attracted to an apprenticeship?

Benefits include earning and learning at the same time with education fees paid for. It allows you to build your career and gain professional experience at an early stage. It also Enables a greater development of team work skills. Get to work on live projects straight away, co-workers are extremely helpful, will address any queries/worries. What you learn during your qualification is reflected/assists in your work vice versa. I was interested in doing an apprenticeship as I wanted to further my education and develop skills and confidence in the working environment. I wanted to contribute to real world situations from an early stage and build independence by earning my own wage.

Do you have any advice for anybody considering an apprenticeship?

To those interested in an apprenticeship, just go for it and try your best, I'm enjoying my time as an apprentice and recommend it very much. Don't let the working environment intimidate you, everyone is friendly and knows what it feels like to start at the beginning. Studying and working at the same time can be difficult but it's definitely worth it, all the hard work pays off.

It must have been a strange time to join a business with the COVID pandemic restrictions, how have you found this?

I've only managed to experience one month in the office, with the rest of my time at the company spent working from home due to Covid. However, I have received a constant level of support throughout, I always have contact with co-workers on Microsoft Teams who are there to answer any questions I have or to work through something with me that I'm unsure of. BWB are very flexible to individual needs for example option of study days etc.

What’s the big plan Harriet?

I plan to continue my development after I've completed my apprenticeship either by opting to do a HND or a degree - possibly looking to start a career in structural engineering. My role as a trainee technician is a great starting point getting to work alongside/ learn from structural engineers/technicians before looking to develop my career further.

Thanks to Harriet, and we wish her well on her apprenticeship journey! For more information on our apprenticeship scheme please follow the link here