Harraj Khaira (18) applied direct to CITB expressing an interest in a technical career in construction, and following a successful interview, at which he demonstrated a high level of motivation and desire to work within the construction industry, he was offered full-time employment with YORfuture in October 2013, as a technical apprentice. His first placement was working with Wates Construction, on the Morley Newlands Primary School Project.
As well as on the job training Harraj attends Leeds College of Building on day release, working towards a Level 3 in Construction Contracting Operations, which he is due to complete in July 2015.
Harraj is currently working in the site office completing document control, contractor quotes, calculating drainage measurements and taking levels out on site. He has also completed a number of site visits to experience how projects can differ. He was recently invited to speak at an ICE seminar focused on skills shortages and apprenticeships in construction, for which he said:
“The evening was a fantastic opportunity to get myself out there in the industry and a great opportunity to speak in front of an audience about my experiences as an apprentice.”
Prior to Harraj starting his apprenticeship he was studying A Levels at 6th form. However, he was passionate about starting a career in construction. Harraj was over half way through his A-Levels when he was offered the apprenticeship. When Harraj accepted the apprenticeship he asked YORfuture and Wates if he could continue with his A-Levels as he did not want to have unfinished studies. Harraj has now completed his A-Levels and is progressing well on his apprenticeship, and is on target to gain a Distinction.
“I am very glad I chose the apprenticeship route as it has allowed me a route into construction. I would definitely recommend apprenticeships – they offer so many opportunities to learn. I was looking for an apprenticeship in a technical role in construction since I left school but was unable to find when. When I saw this opportunity online through the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme I applied and thankfully was lucky enough to secure the position.”
Harraj recognises the advantages a shared apprenticeship scheme can bring offering the opportunity to work with a variety of different companies.
“I am looking forward to continuing my apprenticeship journey, experiencing new contractors ways of working and learning new experiences.”
Harraj has been able to complete both his studies thanks to the support of his employer, Wates and CITB. He explains:
“They have given me time and support to be able to complete my A-Levels alongside my apprenticeship without it affecting my progress. By working with experienced people they are enhancing my knowledge and I find it much easier to learn new skills at college.”
For Harraj the biggest benefit of the apprenticeship programme is getting recognised skills and qualifications that will set him up for a future career in construction.
“After my apprenticeship I want to go onto University and eventually rise to managerial levels in construction.”