My name is Arnold, and I am a trainee accountant currently doing an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) level 2 apprenticeship.
I enrolled onto the apprenticeship course as it offers studying in class, whilst putting what you learn into practice at work. This will hopefully allow me to develop further in my role. I am enjoying my apprenticeship, as I feel the work that is done at VolkerStevin solidifies the learning that I complete at college.
At the end of my apprenticeship, I hope to enrol onto an AAT level 3 course, which is the next level of study after my current qualification.
My name is Will Harrison, and I am an apprentice engineer completing a Civil Engineering Degree apprenticeship.
I chose to do an apprenticeship because I wanted to get a more hands on experience with my learning, rather than being sat in a classroom every day trying to take notes and not being able to see the things I learn in practice.
My apprenticeship so far has been enjoyable. I enjoy the work I do and having university one day a week has been a good experience too. After finishing my apprenticeship, I would like to progress through my career using the skills I have gained.
My name is Ciaran Rushe, I am a site engineer who is currently undertaking a Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship.
I knew I wanted to be a civil engineer, so I felt that doing an apprenticeship would be the most beneficial way for me to become a better engineer. Once I finish my degree apprenticeship, I will have four year’s experience as a site engineer. That will give me an advantage within the industry as graduates coming straight into the business from university, will have little or no site experience and will take them longer to develop.
In the three years I have been here, I have worked on four projects ranging from £5m to £25m, each providing me with different experiences, whilst allowing me to develop different skills. VolkerStevin has been very supportive in my development by providing training and experience to enable me to gain IEng status at the end of my apprenticeship.
My name is Courtney McNeil, and I am a trainee corporate communications coordinator. I am currently undertaking a level 4 apprenticeship in PR and communications.
After completing my A-levels at college, I was unsure if I wanted to go to university as I didn’t know if it was the right thing for me. After researching the apprenticeship route, I decided this would be a better fit for my career aspirations. The main benefit of doing an apprenticeship is that it allows you to gain valuable experience in the workplace and earn a salary, whilst also gaining academic qualifications.
Before starting at VolkerStevin I had no experience within communications as I had previously worked in retail, however I have received so much support from everyone around me and have settled into my role well.
My name is Jordanna and I am a customer experience co-ordinator at VolkerStevin. I am currently completing an apprenticeship in customer service.
Having already achieved a degree in business studies, I held the perception that apprenticeships were seen as a job for school leavers. As well as believing I wouldn’t be eligible, I was also under the impression that I wouldn’t benefit from the course.
I was encouraged by VolkerStevin to enrol on the customer service level 3 apprenticeship in 2019. After discovering the range of interesting and improved schemes available, I jumped at the opportunity to broaden my horizons and really appreciated the encouragement and support from my line manager, peers and the wider company. So far, this course has been a fantastic addition to my degree with an emphasis on skill and behavioural development, with coaching and support available by the training provider.
My name is John MacManus, I am a works manager at VolkerStevin. I have recently completed a 12-month course for my Level 3 NVQ in site management.
This year marks my 25th year as a foreman and manager, having worked for the business on and off as a joiner for many years prior to this.
After leaving school aged 15, I completed a five-year apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery, gaining my City and Guilds qualification. I didn’t for one-minute think that nearly 50 years later, I would be undertaking another apprenticeship to achieve my Level 3 NVQ.
Having recently completed the course, I wanted to get the message out to everyone that, whatever your previous qualifications, age, or ability, you are always capable of achieving something if you put your mind to it. VolkerStevin and the wider business offer you the time and support to complete your course alongside your regular day job. There is no excuse!
If you have an interest in a subject, you will excel within an apprenticeship. Not only have I developed new skills and widened my knowledge in an area I have worked in and enjoyed all my life, I have revisited a skill set I haven’t used since school.
The most rewarding part of the course for me has been realising that once you put your mind to something, then you can do it. Whether you’re 17 or 67 (like me!), I think it just goes to show that there is no age limit on what you can achieve.
My name is Nadine and I am currently undertaking an apprenticeship in Civil Engineering.
After completing my A levels I wasn’t sure whether to go to university or take up an apprenticeship. Three years down the line, and I am so pleased I decided to follow the apprenticeship option.
I have been fortunate enough to work on a £50m project with some amazing people who have supported and guided me along the way.
Aside from learning new skills and implementing them in a practical way, I love the fact that every day is different.
I have two years left at university and once I have finished, I will graduate with a civil engineering degree and be professionally qualified with five years’ experience.
My name is Jim Loxam, I am a Stakeholder Manager at VolkerStevin. I am currently completing an apprenticeship in customer service.
Having worked in customer service in one form or another for 12 years, I thought I had a solid understanding of what makes a customer ‘tick’.
As a department, we are good at what we do and as a team, we have the accolades and feedback to prove it. But with demanding roles and countless projects to oversee, it is easy to get caught up in the day to day.
When the opportunity came about to undertake a customer service apprenticeship, I was unsure about the benefits. Having graduated with a degree in business studies in 2014, I thought my education days were behind me.
I was wrong!
Undertaking this apprenticeship has completely opened my eyes to what we can offer as a business to enhance a customer’s experience. As well as learning new skills and developing my existing ones, I now feel more competent and confident in my role. This apprenticeship has removed my tunnel vision, allowing me to set targets and achieve goals with confidence.
My name is Ashleigh and I am currently undertaking an apprenticeship in Quantity Surveying at VolkerBrooks.
I started working at VolkerBrooks in administration back in September 2014. Back then, I was so ready for a break from education. However, after a few years, my desire to progress in the business and push myself grew. After numerous conversations, I decided with my line manager and the wider company that a degree apprenticeship in Quantity Surveying was the right path for me.
At first, I had no idea how seamless this process would be and how much support I would receive from my colleagues to help me manage my time, undertake coursework and revision and assist with study leave. This apprenticeship has really helped me focus on my personal time management too.
I finish my apprenticeship in 2024. My hope is to progress into a successful quantity surveying role within the business and climb the ladder from there. I would definitely encourage anyone to seriously think about taking the leap into learning if the opportunity arises. After all, you have nothing to lose.
My name is James and I am currently ten months into my year placement with VolkerStevin, training to be a site engineer.
I was over the moon when I was accepted on a one-year placement at VolkerStevin after completion of my second year at University. I have been extremely lucky to work on two projects during my time with the business, the Fairhaven sea defence and the Lancaster River Lune scheme - I never thought I would get the opportunity to work on multi-million-pound projects at such an early stage in my career, so it really has been an incredible experience.
Since joining VolkerStevin some ten months ago, I have got stuck into all sorts of jobs, with a focus on the setting out using various pieces of engineering equipment from design information. The people at VolkerStevin have made a huge impact on why I enjoyed my placement so much, supporting me every step of the way.
I will return to Newcastle University in September and complete the final year of my undergraduate degree in Civil and Structural Engineering, and I think that the communication skills and knowledge I have acquired through ‘on-the-job’ training will really help my final year studies. My placement year has instilled a new level of confidence in me I didn’t know I had - I would recommend anyone thinking about it to do it!