Meet our apprentices

Ethan Beades

31 October 2019

Groundworks Apprentice

Why did you choose a groundworks apprenticeship?

When I was younger, I was a bit more focused on technical studies, but I’ve always been practical and preferred hands on learning. I really wanted to get into a trade where I could develop skills but also keep fit, so when this groundworks apprenticeship came up I thought this would be perfect for me. I still do a lot of theory - it’s not my favourite part, but it must be done and I always try to do it to the highest standard I possibly can.

How do you balance college with your on-site placement?

I was going to college with ARC Academy in Treforest once a week but now I only go once a month. This is because I’ve flown through the theory stuff, so now I can really focus on my NVQ. I still have a bit more theory to do, but it’s good that I can have more time to focus more on my practical skills.

How would you compare an apprenticeship to full time studying?

I think an apprenticeship is much better than studying full time. You get paid, make friends, get a lot of site experience and achieve nationally recognised qualifications at the same time. I’ve also had the opportunity to go on additional training courses, such as the New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA) training course that I went on last week. It was intense, but I’ve come to work this week and feel that I’ve been able to understand a lot more and can apply my new knowledge to what I’m doing.

How have you found your apprenticeship so far?

It was hard being on site at first, but I quickly settled in and after a couple of months I’ve learnt so much from the people I work with. They have let me have a go at equipment, and if I mess up, they just show me how to fix it and do it right.

What skills are important to be a successful groundworker?

As a groundworker, it’s important to develop good communication, manual handling and health and safety skills. Being aware of health and safety matters is particularly important as construction can be a dangerous environment to work in and you must always look out for any hazards that could affect you or others around you.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

The dream is to own my own business one day. I plan to learn as much as possible before then, gaining as many skills as I can from my experiences.

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