Photo credit: Teesside University

Can you tell us what your apprenticeship entails?

As an Apprentice Civil Engineer for the Maintenance Engineering Department at PD Ports, I help look after and improve all of the Civil Assets on our sites across the country.

Did you know what direction you wanted to take after you left school?

I originally wanted to become a Mechanical Engineer but after spending a 4 week internship with the engineering department here at PD Ports, I learned that I was more interested in Civil Engineering and wanted to pursue this as a career.

Did you find school challenging? If so how did you approach it when it was difficult?

I think it’s sometimes very difficult to go through school and college not knowing what you want to do at the end, but I always kept in my mind that if I tried my best in everything I would have a lot more options. Then if I decided to change my mind I’d have already completed the hard work to give me more freedom to choose.

What advice would you give to other young people who think turning up to school or apprenticeships is pointless?

I think the main thing to keep in sight is that the harder you work now, the easier it is to make a better life for yourself later. Apprenticeships can open up all kinds of opportunities for young people and if nothing else it means you’re earning a good wage while learning.

How did you get into your job?

I was studying at Bede Sixth Form College when I joined the Career Ready Programme after they came into our college.

I completed workshops and workplace visits along with having mentor meetings, which lead up to a 4 week internship. My internship was in the Engineering Department of PD Ports after I discussed with my mentor that I wanted to be an Engineer. After this apprenticeship I was lucky enough to be offered a job in the Civil Department here at PD Ports.

What are your dreams for the future and how do you think that your job will help you achieve them?

I have already achieved a goal of mine – I have just bought my first home and am now able to move out of my parents’ house at age 19.

What do you enjoy most about your role and what new skills/benefits has it helped you gain?

My apprenticeship has allowed me to be much more confident and gain skills in project management and finance that I can carry into all different aspects of my life. The communication skills I have gained also carry over to all aspects of my life.