To help celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (5-8th March 2018) we’re putting the spotlight on Geoff Thompson, Site Manager at Harry Fairclough and an ambassador for apprenticeships, to tell us why he believes apprenticeships are the future for the construction sector.
- When did you start your HF apprenticeship and what was it in? What is your role now?
I joined the company as a mature apprentice, at the age of 34 in June 2003. I enrolled on a brick laying course and I am at present a Construction Site Manager.
- How do you think doing an apprenticeship has benefited your career?
I started late in construction and the only way to progress was on an apprenticeship scheme. Being hands on and progressing up through the ranks, this has more than put me on the right path. I had to learn a trade and being on site gave me the best grounding and learning opportunity possible at the start of my career.
- What would you say to someone considering doing an apprenticeship in construction?
You primarily need a trade to get on in construction, from the ground up. An apprenticeship scheme with the right company will put you in good stead. I have advised and pointed in the right direction at least six school leavers that I know who are keen to get into the industry as a result of the positive experience I have had. I would say to anyone interested, choose what you want to do, learn, enjoy it and see the training out until the end.
- How did the company support you through your apprenticeship?
The company was great in taking me on as a mature apprentice. I was placed with time served brick layers to learn my chosen trade and placed on jobs where there was plenty of brickwork to do, so that I could progress. If I had any issues on site or indeed college, the training officer or site manager, dealt with them promptly and progression was made easy with the ongoing level of company support I received. On completing the apprenticeship, I was offered the opportunity to progress and gain further qualifications and I have not looked back since.