2020 Apprentice of the Year Finalist : Nicholas McKenna

28/10/20: The TClarke Apprentice of the Year finalists are automatically invited into the Future Leaders programme. TClarke’s apprenticeship programme is known as one of the very best in construction or any engineering sector. Nicholas McKenna is one of two runners up.

Mike Crowder, Group Managing Director, commended Nick’s entry.

“Nick was an outstanding entrant, he has been an adult entrant to our apprenticeship scheme and the way he demonstrates how people can successfully switch careers at a later stage was so powerful that he was invited to the Scottish Parliament to talk about it! We know he has a great future with us and are delighted to have him in the business.’

Nick McKenna had started an engineering degree before he realised that a different course was better suited to him:

“I was accepted to university and began my degree – but quite quickly I realised that this wasn’t the route for me since I am much more of a ‘hands-on’ person. So I left and I soon fixed on the idea that plumbing and heating would be a good option.

“At 28 years old, I felt I was a bit old for an apprenticeship and so I did a City and Guilds in plumbing. It was through that course and College that I was introduced to TClarke and Eddie McGlinchey. They gave me a work placement and I ended up at the Botanics residential development.

“I immediately realised that the levels of specification and workmanship – and the sheer quality of the TClarke approach and operation – was extremely attractive. I got the opportunity, I’ve worked hard to take it and to be honest, I’ve never looked back.

“I was invited to the Scottish Parliament to speak to the Education Minister and MSPs on my experience – I think my example shows how well education and good employers can link up to create opportunity. 

“Now my plan is to get a solid understanding of my trade and then I hope to progress into more senior roles. We have examples of people on the TClarke Future Leaders Programme moving forward through the business – so the opportunities are genuine and exciting.”