Construction Apprentice
Balfour Beatty

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00:03 My experience as an apprentice has been pretty sweet. I mean I’ve come on leaps and bounds since I first started. It consists of me learning how to use a station, how to read drawings, how to communicate with the project management team and such.
00:18 Cos that’s the thing apprenticeship can do for you. It can either guarantee a job when you finish your apprenticeship or when you get your level, your qualification, you’ll be more qualified to be hired by other people.
00:31 It helped me find my job first of all. It keeps me occupied during the week, gets you money weekly. It’s a good path to go down. Out there it’s not, it’s not easy just to get a job like that.
00:44 Being an apprentice is, obviously you’re learning and getting money at the same time.
00:53 My job title at the moment is a trainee engineer, on site, and basically what that consists of is I go out on to site and stake out, according to the coordinates given to me by a surveyor and such the like and then the builders can work to it.
01:08 I’m ??? and I work for Balfour Beatty.
01:11 My job entails spreadsheets, booking in deliveries, vehicles and making up signs.
01:20 My job title is a groundworks apprenticeship. That has different roles. The role that I’m doing is drainage, so living in the ground to lay the pipes, new manholes, new ways for water to get out and stuff like that.
01:37 The best thing about working here is, well as we all know, it’s a very iconic project. I mean, for years to come, I can say I partook in that, which is awesome.
01:45 Initially it wasn’t that easy but I could tell you, as time goes on, you fit into the system and it becomes more easier. I sat down and I stood back and I watched, then gradually I got into the system and I can tell you now I’m very happy to everyone in here.
02:06 Initially, before I  started with Balfour Beatty, I was actually working for ??? for a little while, which is a different company. That started roughly a year before this and before that I’d actually gone to college for a while. I’d studied construction in the built environment, Diploma Level 2 initially. I was in two minds. I prefer the more hands on approach, so I done some carpentry work, as well as electrical and some plumbing. Along the lines I did actually get an opportunity to be an apprentice. I’d say, let’s give it a go and ever since I ran with it.
02:39 Initially I didn’t really like the construction company because I tell you what, I was one of those plumbers, I go ugh, oh no, I can’t do that. But when I came into Balfour Beatty I saw that there was different roles you could do, not only plumbing or electrician or steel erector, you could do a lot of things, like becoming controller. A lot of admin work goes into it but initially, as I say, if you don’t come in and view, you wouldn’t know. So I came in on the line, I got lots of experience and I like to make my career, build up my career in this organisation.
03:23 An ability to think on your feet, in terms of skills, is required. I’d also say, great people skills, it never hurts, as well as an ability to understand various jobs is very essential. Not just your own, you’d always want to know how a chippy does a job in a certain manner, how you can maybe aid that in your setting out process and so on.
03:46 You have to be more patient and you’ll be able to listen to people and try to help them out. So you have to be calm and polite. And always the smile, yes.
03:59 Know that we have a time limit, be able to stick to the time limit and at the same time enjoy work, cos we are here quite often for long hours also, so you’d be advised to enjoy what you’re doing.
04:10 Yeah, of course you need a sense of humour on the site cos everyone’s older than you, they’re more duller than you, so you’ve got to keep everything energetic and stuff like that.
04:22 In terms of advice that I’d give the up and coming youth and what I would have probably said to myself when I first started, was know what you want to do now and then create a pathway that you’ve planned to get there. I think one of the biggest issues with me when I first started, was though I knew I wanted to be in construction, I didn’t take the time out to plan my steps and that lack of preparation in the planning had caused me to spend a year or two, you know, feeling out different trades and stuff, when I could have went straight into what I was doing.
04:54` If you know what you enjoy,  run with it. Pick something that can aid you to get there and get there. If you’re not 100% sure, be willing to try things and that’s how you, that’s how I’d say go about it.
05:07 Literally just read into it, look into what it requires before you do it. Have a practical interview so you see what others are doing, to see if you like it or not. Have a trial if you like it or not and then, if you like it, you’ve got to stick to it, if you don’t find another thing that suits you. You can either go into carpentry, electrician, anything else you want to do. There’s plenty of opportunities out there in an apprenticeship scheme. See what I like, there’s plenty of opportunities out there. I’m still young, go explore.
05:41 END


Apprentices talk about what it’s like working for Balfour Beatty.

More information about Construction operatives n.e.c.

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

92%  male 
8%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Workers in this unit group operate insulating equipment, fix plasterboard or dry linings to ceilings and walls, help construct, maintain, repair and demolish buildings and clean and resurface eroded stonework, lay, join and examine pipe sections for drainage, gas, water or similar piping systems and carry out a variety of other construction operative tasks not elsewhere classified in MINOR GROUP 814: Construction Operatives.
There are no formal academic entry requirements. Training is typically provided on-the-job. NVQs/SVQs in General Construction Operations are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3.
  • Fills machine with insulating mixture, positions hose, drills access hole and fills cavities or coats surfaces to prevent loss or absorption of heat and provide fire protection;
  • Selects appropriate plasterboard or dry lining panels, cuts them to required size and fixes them to ceilings and walls;
  • Cuts, shapes and fits wood, lays bricks and tiles, cleans exterior surfaces of buildings and resurfaces eroded stone or brickwork, and performs other tasks in the construction, alteration, repair and demolition of buildings;
  • Selects appropriate asbestos, clay, concrete, plastic or metal pipe sections and lowers them into prepared trenches using hoisting equipment;
  • Joints pipe by sealing with rubber, cement, lead, etc., connects piping to manholes and attaches pipe junctions as required;
  • Tests joints with electronic test equipment or by filling piping with water, smoke or compressed air.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Construction 20436
Specialised construction 20423
Accommodation 6087
Civil engineering 4370
Warehousing, etc 3620
Real estate 2806
Services to buildings 2631
Sport & recreation 1980
Retail trade 1943
Employment activities 1857
Employment status

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