As you know, this year I finally finished my apprenticeship. Time passed so fast but I have good memories and I think one of my biggest achievements was to be nominated (and then win!) the Metro Apprentice of the Year award.. I can remember being interviewed by a journalist, and then a metro photographer came down to site and took some photos of me doing a normal day-to-day task. Actually waking up to see my photo inside of every Metro newspaper around London was an incredible feeling. It was amazing and even now people recognise me.
Winning the award has made me appreciate my apprenticeship with K10. When I started my apprenticeship I didn’t have Maths and English GCSEs, which stopped me from progressing. I missed out on many opportunities. But after completing the apprenticeship I was able retake my functional skills exams and now I have both the qualifications and work-experience needed for the rest of my life to progress and achieve all my goals. Winning an award is great, but it’s the hard work and determination underneath it all that really counts.
For example, I remember a time when I was very frustrated at work. I never forget the day I fitted my first soil pipe from the ground floor to the fifth floor using elbows and soil access coupling.
I felt like I really accomplished something when it was finished… but, unfortunately, there was an unexpected problem when I air-tested it. It was leaking, and it wasn’t immediately clear where from. It took me a very long time to figure it out with the help of my supervisor. Eventually, I had to separate the pipes to find the leak by testing one floor at a time using air bags. It was a very stressful day, but I’m better for it – I now know this testing technique, which has improved my overall process of fitting pipes.
It just goes to show that even if times are difficult and tense, and there are unexpected challenges ahead, hard work and persistence can lead you to overcome these and reach your goal. And, sometimes, if the right people are taking note, you can end up in the newspaper!