National Apprenticeship Week: Barking & Dagenham College student celebrates career progression through on-the-job learning

Construction management apprentice Jamie Lord, 21, has just been given a promotion with his company

Construction management apprentice Jamie Lord, 21, has just been given a promotion with his company Artelia. Picture: Barking & Dagenham College - Credit: Archant

This week is National Apprenticeship Week and Jamie Lord knows as well as anyone the benefits of an apprenticeship.

The 21-year-old has just been given a £6,000 pay rise and was promoted to trainee project manager at construction industry project management company Artelia.

After deciding that A-level studies weren't for him, Jamie enrolled on a full-time construction management course and, at 19, looked for an apprenticeship.

He accepted a construction management apprenticeship with Artelia, studying one day a week at Barking & Dagenham College and spending the rest of the time learning on the job.

After 18 months, Jamie had finished his higher apprenticeship - equivalent to the first year of a degree - and has now received the promotion.

His company has also offered to fund him to do a construction management degree.

Jamie said: "When I was 16 I chose to pursue the university route, as most of my social orbit went to university and it looked interesting to me.

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"I also felt that I needed a degree for my career progression.

"However, in the position I find myself in now, I think I've definitely made the right choice: I've got 18 months' work experience, I have a sought-after higher qualification in project management and I am absolutely over-the-moon that my company is going to fund me to do a degree."

Jamie will attend university part time to complete his degree and work towards achieving chartered project professional status with the support of Artelia and the Association for Project Management.

"Many of my friends will be finishing their degrees this year with almost £30,000 worth of debt," Jamie added.

"I have zero debt and I'm now on a good salary in a trainee project management position, which is similar to what any new graduate could wish to get."

Jamie is the first person to complete Artelia's apprenticeship program, which started in 2018.

Artelia managing director Mark Day said: "We are in an industry that is traditionally hard to recruit into, so a couple of years ago we decided that we needed to take a fresh look at apprenticeships, as well as recruiting through our graduate programme.

"We are delighted at how the programme has equipped Jamie with the technical knowledge and practical competence required for a career in project management."