For every new apprentice, joining a new company and maybe having their first experience of life after school, could be a worry. That’s why TClarke London’s Buddy System is in place from day one. Immediately after he had received his safety orientation briefing, apprentice Alfie Harknett was introduced to his Buddy, Kevin Bent. Kevin started his own apprenticeship exactly 30 years ago and was TClarke Apprentice of The Year in 1989.
“I’ve been fairly lucky in those 30 years. In my time I’ve worked on many of the prestige jobs - from the Houses of Parliament and Westfield to many of the major banking projects. Now I specialise in an area I really enjoy - data centres and mission critical projects. I’m here as living proof that if you work hard and you have the right attitude you can go as far as you want at TClarke.
“What I’ve told Alfie is very simple: ‘embrace whatever comes your way, don’t be scared to ask questions’ - that’s why I’m here as Alfie’s Buddy - to answer questions, no matter how silly or trivial he may think it is - - I’m always at the end of the phone or I can come and meet him - that’s how we do things here.
“You definitely learn over the years there’s a ‘TClarke Way’. We’ll make sure that Alfie gets to really understand them - we have standards that we don’t let drop - safety, hard work and a pride in the details are at the heart of them I’d say - so Alfie will need to get used to that from the start - because in my last thirty years they’ve never slipped or changed and they won’t be changing now either!”