Rebecca Maddock lives in the London Borough of Wandsworth and landed herself a formwork carpentry apprenticeship placement on the Northern Line extension project in Battersea. She’s been there since September 2016, and has so far enjoyed her time.
Rebecca studied on a Multi Skills Level 1 and 2 course at college. A friend doing an electrical apprenticeship said it was a good route to take. The college also recommended an apprenticeship and, with interest in the industry – “I’ve always liked building things, I was always playing with Lego when I was younger!” she laughs – she applied to Laing O’Rourke.
Day-to-day tasks are varied and Rebecca feels like she’s learning a lot every day. While she’s not yet in a position to perform some of the more technical tasks, Rebecca is making the most of assisting the team. “I watch what the team when they’re completing the more complex work, and I help out by making sure they have the right materials and tools required for the job.
“It’s great exposure to all the different tools, materials and equipment,” she says. “I’m also often required to do some shuttering or make smaller parts that will help the team out further down the line.”
A helping hand
“The team is really supportive and people will let me get on with something before coming back to check on me,” she says. “What’s great is that they’re keen to offer their help, and they’re really good at showing me more efficient and effective ways of doing things. It’s helpful to learn skills that way and I always feel as though I’m learning.”
The support doesn’t just come from the more senior staff either, thanks to the network of apprentices working across the company. “There’s another apprentice on this site who I see every day and it helps being able to talk to someone going through the same experience as you. In May, we have an apprenticeship training day, where we’ll all be together and it’ll be a chance to speak to other apprentices.”
Smooth application process
Having applied through a government apprenticeship website that took her to Laing O’Rourke, Rebecca’s first step was to complete some puzzle tasks. After this, she was invited to an interview at the company’s headquarters in Dartford, where she took part in a practical task, which - she’s keen to point out - “was really fun.” After an interview and offer of a placement, Rebecca took part in an induction day in Dartford with all the new apprentices and learned more about the programme and what she should expect from it.
Rebecca is on the programme for two years, with the option of another two afterwards for an additional qualification, which offers the opportunity of moving into management positions or staying on site. “I’ll look at going into management,” she says keenly. “But I’d also like to explore the idea of civil engineering. I’ve spoken to civil engineers and I think it would let me use the skills I’ve gained but also learn new ones.”
As a Laing O’Rourke apprentice, there’s rarely a quiet moment and Rebecca’s experience so far has been exciting and offered her multiple opportunities. Whether she goes into management or civil engineering, she’ll be well equipped to get the job done with her apprenticeship training.
• Recruitment is now open for our apprenticeship programme, click here to apply
• To read more about working at Laing O’Rourke, visit careers.laingorourke.com