Craig Ramsey - graduate apprentice
In September, Craig Ramsay started a Graduate Apprenticeship programme in Construction Management through his employer, P&M Sinclair. Here he explains the key highlights of the programme and how the experience has shaped his future career hopes and goals.
How did you become a graduate apprentice?
I left school and began an apprenticeship in bricklaying. On completing this, I was offered the opportunity to study further and completed my advanced craft in bricklaying. I worked as a bricklayer for three years, working on a wide variety of projects and gaining invaluable experience.
My company offered me the opportunity to take on supervisor responsibilities and I undertook training to equip me for this role. Two years later, I was offered further development and stepped up to managing small projects, and again received further industry recognised training. I was delighted when I was offered the opportunity to undertake a graduate apprenticeship.
Completing a work-based qualification fits perfectly with my style of learning, and means I can continue to work and gain valuable experience, alongside an industry recognised qualification.
What were the benefits of the Graduate Apprenticeship programme that attracted you the most?
Qualifications have been important to my job role but gaining experience in the construction industry has been by far the most beneficial part of my career.
Being on different projects and working with different people has built my now vast experience of construction, and is where I have learned my skills.
I was attracted to the flexibility that the Graduate Apprenticeship programme offers, and the opportunities that it presented to continue to build both my education and my industry experience.
What do you do now and how do you manage the challenges of learning new skills whilst studying towards a degree?
As I have progressed to supervisor level, I have come to understand the complexity of construction. I had no idea how much goes on before the construction works actually start on site, and how much detailed planning is required. As I began managing works, I gained an appreciation for how other job roles interact and work together to ensure that projects go from inception to completion.
I enjoy learning new skills and the challenge that this brings. Having been able to apply the new skills I’ve learned through studying on the Graduate Apprentice programme, I’ve begun to see the wider opportunities that this will open up for me, as I think towards my future career development.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
I think my proudest achievement to date is being able to support apprentices to complete their training. I enjoy helping them as they learn and build their skills. Having the opportunity to help apprentices gain qualifications and experience is a very rewarding part of my job. Developing a positive learning and working environment is beneficial to the entire company, as we train the next generation of our workforce.
What are your future career hopes and goals on completion of the Graduate Apprenticeship?
Once I complete the GA Programme, I hope to progress into a Contracts Manager role. Having had the opportunity to gain industry experience alongside an academic qualification, I also hope to apply for membership of the Chartered Institute of Building. Having gained experience alongside studying, this will hopefully speed up the process for me!
Can you outline what support and/or encouragement your employer has given you in your GA journey:
My company are very focused on training and developing their staff, and I’m fortunate to have been identified as someone with potential to undertake the Graduate Apprentice Programme. I have two workplace mentors, both with different construction industry backgrounds, who are very supportive in my studies and help encourage me on my journey.
Please give a quote to sum up your overall experience of the Graduate Apprenticeship programme:
In construction, work experience is invaluable. Being a Graduate Apprentice has given me the opportunity to continue to work and gain valuable experience, alongside completing an industry recognised qualification.