Tyrone Upton - Apprentice Construction, UK

Since joining the Mace Apprenticeship scheme Tyrone has presented to 200 people at the House of Commons, worked towards achieving a degree and put his learning into practice on one of London’s most iconic projects.

How did you come to work for Mace?

I went to school in Portsmouth and studied maths, physics and psychology at A-level but moved to London when I got a place on Mace’s apprentice scheme. I was looking into construction, particularly engineering, because of my maths background and companies that offered these kinds of schemes. Mace was my first choice because of all its iconic projects and I think I got the job because of how thoroughly I had researched the company. I’ve been working on the Battersea Power Station project since I joined.

What are you responsible for?

Lots of different things – like inspecting temporary works on site, illustration management, requesting design briefs, keeping temporary works registrations up to date and managing the temporary works process. I also survey beam tolerances – making sure that the beams are erected to the acceptable level.

How has your career progressed since joining Mace?

Being based on Battersea is a real eye-opener. It’s a huge project and a million different things are going on in each area.

The learning opportunities are endless and it's a great environment to progress my career quite quickly. I’m studying for a bachelor’s degree in engineering at the same time so I get to experience the practical side and then apply it to my written work and learning. Things make a lot more sense to me because I can see how they are done in practice.

What’s your proudest achievement at Mace?

On behalf of the sustainability team I was invited to the House of Commons by the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills to an event called One Year On. In front of 200 strangers I spoke about Mace, my experiences and how the scheme is impacting my life. It was a big deal for me. I had to really mentally prepare myself but, since then, I’ve built up my public speaking experience and now when I present it doesn’t faze me.

I also recently won Mace’s Apprentice of the Year Award. It was a really proud moment for me and nice to see that people had noticed the amount of work I had put in last year and acknowledged my achievements.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?

Definitely problem solving skills – particularly in construction because challenges can crop up at any time. You also need good communication skills to get your point across in the right way, otherwise health and safety issues can occur and can have a monumental impact on you, your colleagues and the entire project.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?

Research the kind of companies you want to work for thoroughly. Mace is unique in the way it works because it’s privately owned and specialises in construction management and consultancy. I did a lotof background reading to ensure I was doing the right thing for me.

University or apprenticeship?

For me – apprenticeship. If I had gone to university I would have done a three year course and then gained two years of experience at Mace through the graduate scheme. Doing it this way I will have five years’ experience and still have a bachelor’s degree at the end of it, so I should be ahead of the curve. Mace pays for my training and gives me a practical environment to learn in. In the end, I’ll have the same qualifications but no debt.

What do you hope you will be doing in the next 5-10 years?

I’m on the apprenticeship programme for five years in total but, after that, I'd like to work abroad. Maybe the Middle East, possibly Germany. The world’s my oyster at Mace.


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