Thinking back to when I was younger and what I wanted to do when I was older, I always thought construction wasn’t a good career to get into. Since leaving school, I’ve realised it’s one of the best. You make really good money, get great skills, and it’s an all-round sector that can take you anywhere.
Young people are sometimes stereotyped as lazy, but this is a hardworking career. I’m surrounded by young people giving it their all. And if you do that, you’ll go far.
My dad has always been in construction. I used to help him on weekends, which encouraged me as I got to see the lifestyle. I left school and did an electrical engineering apprenticeship for a year, but it just wasn’t for me. And that’s when I found John and the bricklaying apprenticeship. It’s a lot more hard work, and there’s more to it; it’s more challenging. With other jobs, you can master them fast. I could do bricklaying for a year and feel like I’m just starting to know about it.
I get up around 6 am, have a bit of brekkie and rock up to site about 7.15. Then it’s boots on, gear on, get out onto the plot and onto the boards. I don’t like rain, but that doesn’t bother me too much. In the summer it’s great – sometimes they’ll let you have your top off and top up a tan.
The industry is fun, very social. You get to go to work and have a laugh. If I were working behind a desk all day in an office, it would bore me. I want the physical element – I like going to the gym and playing football. I feel good after a hard day’s work. It’s rewarding in that way.
My friends think this career’s great. Many are in the industry themselves, and I love socialising with other workers. This industry is all about making connections and who might help you out in the future. My parents are so proud of me, as I was coming from a job where I wasn’t happy, but now I look forward to going to work every day.
And my job lets me enjoy plenty of downtime. There’s gym after work, football on a Thursday. I love going to the pub with friends and out with my girlfriend. I’ve opened up an ISA and started to save for a house. Without this apprenticeship, I wouldn’t have done it.
I’m excited about starting a new career that I enjoy. I’m going to carry on my apprenticeship, stay with John and hopefully keep working hard and progressing in the trade. My goal? Maybe I’ll be in John’s position in ten years.
Funded through the investment of the CITB levy.