Do you think that going into construction was the right career choice for your son Andy?
Yes, definitely. He was never that interested in academic subjects but he's getting so much job satisfaction out of working in construction, if I could put that job satisfaction in a bottle, I'd make millions. People think it's a dirty industry, but it's actually very supportive and even though he's an apprentice, he's treated as an equal; I've met many of his colleagues.
He's clearly very skilled at bricklaying and has learnt a lot. What do you think the future holds for him now?
He's very interested in learning more specialist bricklaying techniques, but he's not just learning about bricklaying. He's learning how to deal with people and solving problems. He can look at things now and see what needs doing to solve the problem; how to set things up property so that it makes it easier to get the work done. He's also realised that if you can lead a team well, you can get things done better.
Do you think he'll ever want to go into managerial role?
Yes, but I think he'll want to stay on site. I think he'll lead a team one day and even become foreman. He gets real satisfaction at looking at a finished building and saying 'I built that', and he's learnt so much. He really knows what he's talking about and would be good at training an apprentice himself and helping them build their career.
Your son comes across as quite confident. Has he changed much since he started his apprenticeship?
Oh yes! He had to be dragged out of bed to get him to school. Now he's up on his own and ready to go to work at 6:30am. We used to fight like cat and dog, but now he gives me a blow by blow of his day. He's really proud of what he can do and likes it to be right first time. I think it's made him a better person too. He doesn't just pack up at the end of day, he goes to the site agent if there's anything else that needs doing or prepare things for the next day. He plans ahead and gets involved in everything.
What would you say to another parent whose son or daughter was considering a career in construction?
I'd say go for it. It's boosted Andy's confidence beyond belief! He enjoys the team spirit and likes that he's part of a bigger team and that everyone has to work together to get things done. He says it's like a big family and they all help each other out. He's never pushed out on a limb on his own and there's always someone there to help him.
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