Apprentice Story – AlicePosted: 11th of September 2017 by
Alice originally wanted to go to uni – but chose the Atkins' Apprentice scheme instead. With no debts, paid work and the support to study for qualifications, she has no regrets! “I didn’t got to uni and I’m happy about it” says Alice. “The Apprenticeship was a fantastic opportunity that was right for me.”
"Ever since I was younger I have always had quite an interest in maths and the sciences. My father and my grandfather were both engineers so we had a lot of bits of machinery that were left around the house. I enjoyed picking them up, putting them together, seeing how they worked. I knew that that was definitely what I wanted to do.
When I was at college it was 'uni uni uni' for me. My head of sixth form actually said to me: I think, you know, you might enjoy an apprenticeship, so I typed into Google and Atkins came up, so I thought, you know, I'll just go for it. I went in for my induction day and I came out and I said: Oh my gosh, I have to work here!
So the obvious advantages of an apprentice scheme is the fact that you get to earn while you learn. The structure of my apprenticeship scheme is a level 4 apprenticeship in project management. Currently I'm working with East West Rail. It's a two pronged approach - one within the workplace and one within education. The apprenticeship allows me to actually go around all of the disciplines within project controls to get a fuller understanding of what it means to be a project controller within Atkins. Because Atkins want you to go as far as you are able to. Especially for someone starting off in their career.
So Atkins as a company has a really good social side - you know, every month there's something going on. Being new to the industry it's so important to make connections because they are connections that you might need later on in life.
Birmingham New Street was commissioned towards the very beginning of my apprenticeship. Working on the big projects is definitely a massive element of pride and when you actually see the final element it really is quite a surreal experience. To this day my favorite memory ever of being an apprentice was going around New Street before it opened. Everything still had the cladding on, nothing had been touched and we got to see all of the works behind it. It was just a brilliant experience that only a handful of people really got to see.
I am 100 per cent happy with the fact that I applied for my apprentice scheme. I think it was a fantastic opportunity that suited me. I didn't end up going to university and I'm so happy I didn't. The skills that I've gained from being an apprentice and the skills that I've gained from being in a company such as Atkins really does set me apart.
My name is Alice Kimmitt and I'm an apprentice project manager for Atkins."
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