Tom is an Apprentice Engineer at FM Conway, the term maintenance contractor for the Rochester Bridge Trust.
Being an apprentice appealed to me because I believe in the importance of gaining practical experience while working towards a professional qualification. The combination has a huge benefit as it puts me in a stronger position in terms of my job knowledge and my output for the company.
My interest in engineering began when I was given a work experience placement at school. I then came to FM Conway for a summer placement, before applying for their apprenticeship in quantity surveying.
I really enjoy this work, and the training I’ve had so far means I’m already able to price works, complete estimates and manage final accounts for projects valued at up to £300,000.
Wherever possible I also take on extra training, including courses about asphalt products, working at height and contract management, because this knowledge will help me to develop my career.
This experience has also given me the confidence to make my own suggestions in the workplace, and I developed my own tracking system to manage and communicate early warning events to the client. This was so well received it was implemented throughout the project and I’m now given the task of managing it, which is a great achievement.
The most enjoyable part of my apprenticeship is having the responsibility to control my workload. I’m always busy, with plenty of deadlines to hit to meet contractual duties, and the work is varied. Each day is different and helps to broaden my knowledge as I manage my time between visiting the site and working from the office.
My apprenticeship will last for two years and involves four days a month in college.
Apprenticeships offer practical and theoretical knowledge while earning a wage – they are a great opportunity and I would recommend them to anyone.