BDN Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

To mark an end to the 15th Annual National Apprenticeship Week, we would like to share the stories and experiences of our Apprentices and Trainees.

Joshua Chapman – Structural Engineer

‘’I started my apprenticeship as an Apprentice Structural Technician and upon completion of my HNC I was promoted to Structural Technician where I then successfully became a Chartered Technician (EngTech) through The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). More recently, I have been involved with the design of structural elements and not just the drawing and modelling aspect. This is the career path I always wanted to work towards, as I aim to become a Chartered Engineer.

Currently, I am in my 3rd year, studying a BEng in Civil Engineering at Teesside University. I have thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship over the last 7 years and with the end in sight, I can say it has been key to me to progressing from an apprentice to technician through to my recent promotion as Structural Engineer. I have covered a vast range of topics throughout civil engineering which has given me greater appreciation and understanding of the industry as a whole.

I really enjoy being able to apply something I have been taught into my day-to-day work. I also enjoy the practical sessions at University where we can make use of state-of-the-art facilities they have to better understand the fundamentals of engineering.’’

Anna Cullen, BDN Digital Marketing Apprentice

Anna Cullen – Digital Marketing Apprentice

‘‘I started my apprenticeship with BDN in July 2021, joining after I completed my A-Levels. Although I was quite academic, I knew University was not the immediate route for me. An apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity, as I was so eager to enter the workplace and start building a career in marketing.

One day a week, I study at New College Durham towards a Level 3 Qualification in Digital Marketing. I’ve already had the opportunity to gain industry recognised qualifications, completing Google Analytics IQ and the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, with the hope to complete the level 3 course later this year. I love being a part of the growth of BDN’s marketing activities, as my knowledge of the industry also grows.

In the 7 months I have been an apprentice, I have developed both personally and professionally, and gained valuable skills and industry contacts. Entering a male-dominated workplace was daunting at first, but I immediately felt a part of the team. I always feel supported at work, and it is so inspiring being able to work alongside such creative, hard-working individuals every day.

Choosing to join BDN as an apprentice has been an incredible opportunity, and the best way to start my career.”

Adam Lennox – Part 2 Architectural Assistant

Adam Lennox, BDN Architectural Assistant

‘’I am enrolled on the Architect Degree Apprenticeship programme at Northumbria University, with the support of BDN.

I thoroughly enjoy my apprenticeship as it provides a great educational balance between working in practice and progressing with my Part 2 and 3 studies to become a qualified architect, whilst earning in the process as opposed to being at university full-time. The schedule involves working 4 days in the office with BDN and attending one day at university.

I have really enjoyed the university projects so far as they are based on live projects in the community, which allows us to take the skills we have developed and apply them back into the work in our office.

For anyone looking to pursue a career as an architect through the apprenticeship route, I would highly recommend building a good amount of experience in various areas of the profession at Part 1 level. I would look to build a good working relationship with an established architecture practice where you may then look to progress your Part 2 studies via the apprenticeship route.’’

Calvin Agar – Civil Engineering Technician

”I’m currently in my final year of my HNC in Civil Engineering at New College Durham, after completing a Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment. I have found the courses particularly useful to gain first-hand experience and knowledge of how the Civil Engineering industry works, whilst also being able to implement the knowledge into a real-world scenario.

Working at BDN has provided me with exposure to a wide variety of projects ranging from small scale residential projects up to large commercial distribution schemes, each with their own unique challenges for me to apply my understanding to.”

Cameron Hindmarsh – Trainee Quantity Surveyor

‘’I study a Level 3 in Construction in the Built Environment at New College Durham, alongside working 4 days a week as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor. The course has widened my knowledge into different areas of construction, including surveying, design and engineering, helping me decide which area I’d like to specialise my future career in.

The ability to translate concepts learnt at college into the working environment of a multi-disciplined practice has been extremely helpful. This has also benefited my ability to assist the Structural Engineering department on live projects, and develop my skills in specialist software. BDN’s support of being able to learn whilst working has been instrumental in my professional development.’’

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