David Hudson – Journey Through my Apprenticeship

David Hudson – Journey Through my Apprenticeship

In the summer of 2016 I received my A level results after two years of Sixth Form at Ravens Wood School in Bromley. I was then left with the difficult decision of what to do next.

Unlike those around me I was undecided about my future path, most people were all geared up ready for university but I didn’t feel drawn to further education in a university as much as everyone else; however I still wanted to continue my education. My saving grace was a friend who recommended apprenticeships and directed me to a few websites to help me along my way. I soon found myself in contact with an apprentice provider, who in turn put me in contact with JMP Consultants (now SYSTRA). Shortly after my interview I was offered the job and I gladly accepted.

In August of 2016 my Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering began, whereby I attend the City of Westminster College one day a week and work in the office the other four. I find my time at college very enjoyable as I am with friendly like-minded students and get to learn about an area I am interested in (with no long lectures!). The course is entirely coursework-based so no exams to stress over and I aim to complete my Level 3 BTEC in Civil Engineering and The Build Environment after 2 years. This will then put me in a good position to get promoted to full technician.

I expected that the first few weeks at SYSTRA would take a while to get used to and to integrate with my new colleagues, however I was met by a very friendly and lively group. It was very easy to mix in with the large graduate centred group and I quickly found myself busy with numerous different tasks and projects helping me transition from a 9 till 3 school day to a 9 till 5 working day. As an apprentice technician I am mostly tasked with providing technical assistance with drawings and projects, primarily using CAD, which was one of my favourite parts of Design Technology at school. I usually produce technical drawings, annotative maps and diagrams, technical notes and reports, and often get out of the office for site visits, measurement surveys and statistical surveys. I also find myself working beyond the engineering team, and across all teams in the company. After just a few weeks, I had already worked with most colleagues which was very interesting, and allowed me to find out about how each team works and to have a very varied workload.

As part of my apprenticeship I am expected to complete my NVQ in my spare time, this revolves around writing personal statements for each of the units in the course, providing evidence that I am able to use the skills required by a civil engineer. Every few months, I then meet my apprenticeship mentor who coaches me through the course and checks up on me to see how I am doing. I am doing my apprenticeship with STEGTA and I have a great mentor who is always happy to help me with my NVQ, college work or just to give me advice for work. I also aim to complete my NVQ within two years alongside my college course.

Throughout my time with SYSTRA I have had a great time working and meeting up with my colleagues. I am supported heavily by my mentor and line manager who have taught me so much since I joined. I am also very fortunate for the young group of graduates here as it means lots of social events. Currently to date I have had the chance to play a few football matches, take a trip to jump giants, a short cycle ride around London, a week skiing trip in Bulgaria, a work Christmas party, and countless birthdays and Friday night events. I am constantly reminded by my friends how lucky I am to have such a social work group.

To round it all off, as a message to anyone unsure about university or where to go next: consider apprenticeships as they are a great middle ground for anyone wanting to get started in the working world while still learning and earning qualifications at the same time.

Top of the page
SYSTRA Ltd Registered office: 3rd Floor 5 Old Bailey, London, England, EC4M 7BA. Registered Number 3383212
Contact