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United Kingdom / Buildings / Apprentice

Liam Dix

The approach to learning and development is different from what some of my friends have done, and now some of them want to be apprentices too!

What made you want to join the construction industry in the first place?

I’ve been fascinated by the construction industry ever since I was young, and always saw myself becoming an engineer. My great grandad worked as a mechanical engineer during the early 20th century and I loved listening to the stories my grandad told me about the projects his dad had been involved in.

How did you go about getting onto your current programme?

I found Mott MacDonald’s apprenticeship programme by searching for civil engineering opportunities on the Government’s apprenticeship website. The structure of Mott MacDonald’s programme really appealed to me – I get to work as part of a varied team with exposure to people at all levels, and am involved in exciting new projects. The application process involved several tests including Maths and English, and finally an interview where I had to do a presentation on a bridge I had to design. I had no previous experience in designing buildings or structures, so I did a lot of online research into bridge design before putting together the example I discussed in my interview.

What have you done so far?

I currently spend one day a week at college, where I’m studying for a BTEC level 3 diploma in civil engineering, and the other four days a week at work. This balance works really well for me, as I am able to put what I learn at college into practice straightaway, and my experience in the workplace contextualises what I learn in the classroom.

What do you hope to achieve in your career?

During my time in the programme I’ve worked on several projects including a lighting upgrade that was issued for tender, barrier testing at sports stadia and preparation of site drawings for apartments. I’ve gained a lot of experience using software programs such as AutoCAD and Revit, and it has been really interesting actually using these for real-life projects. It’s also been great to work with such a range of people, including directors, associates and graduates.

What do all your mates think of what you do?

The approach to learning and development is different from what some of my friends have done, and now some of them want to be apprentices too!

Where do you think we will see you in ten years’ time?

I’d like to complete an engineering degree at university, possibly up to master’s level, and gain chartered status. Eventually, I want to be a project manager and then project director.

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