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Matthew Sullivan - Level 6 Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

“I chose the apprenticeship route due to the opportunity it offered in enabling me to build up my practical skills and experience of the industry whilst developing my theoretical knowledge. This route has allowed me to do this while gaining necessary qualifications and accreditation, and avoiding the financial cost associated with the full-time student route.”

What is your favourite thing about your apprenticeship?

“My favourite part of the apprenticeship is the variety. As an apprentice I have the opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from a variety of people; gaining invaluable knowledge and skills from the university teaching staff, fellow apprentices and students, and experienced industry members at work. Further to this, I am able to apply my site experience to what I learn at university, aiding in my understanding of civil engineering and making the learning more valuable.”

What skills and experience have you gained as part of this apprenticeship? Has there been anything that you were not expecting?

“I have gained a range of specific skills within my role, from the use of setting out and surveying equipment, to the safe working methods of construction and the quality which is required within this.

Unexpected skills have come in the form of personal skills, such as confidence, team working, leadership, and management which have come as part of working in the industry.”

How have you balanced studying alongside your professional role?

“It is important to make the most of your time by being aware of what work you are required to complete, when it must be completed by, and what you need to do to complete it. This comes down to planning your days, whether it be through a to do list or even a programme, planning and organising your time is paramount to avoid a build-up of work. Further to this, where possible work should be completed as soon as it is issued.”

This apprenticeship will act as a solid foundation upon which I can build my career, acting as a bank of skills and knowledge and experience which I can call upon in the future.

What advice would you give to someone considering a higher/degree apprenticeship?

“I would recommend all students to consider the apprenticeship route. Do your research, look at employer apprenticeship schemes and consider your career path. Think about what you would like to achieve after your qualifications to see which path would suit you best.”

If you could describe your apprenticeship in 5 words, what would they be?

"Challenging, interesting, diverse, fulfilling, and purposeful."

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