Developing the next generation of talent

10/7/18 : One year ago, TClarke North West Apprentice Jake Shorrock won our Apprentice of the Year competition. Today, Jake has relocated to London and is working on our prestigious Battersea Power Station Project. Here he talks about the way his career has developed and what he’s learnt so far.

Before I joined TClarke I completed my A levels in Business, Economics and IT. From that point I knew that I wanted to be a Project Manager in some area and having always been interested in the idea of creating something tangible and valuable, the construction industry attracted me.

When choosing my career options, I was considering going straight ahead with a degree, rather than an electrical apprenticeship. However, having discussed my options I decided that the best way to become a fully skilled project manager in the construction industry was to learn the trade ‘hands on.’ Having completed my apprenticeship with TClarke (and now progressing with my degree), I believe I made the right choice, as my apprenticeship has proved invaluable in several ways.

Firstly, there is the practical experience of what it takes to get work done. When you have had the experience of needing to get work done safely, against tough time constraints, you truly understand how valuable it is for a manager to give you the help, clarity and support you need in order to play your part fully.

Having that practical experience teaches you that ‘collaboration’ as a concept in the construction industry depends on people understanding each other, knowing how to communicate and how to identify the skillsets within a team and get the most out of all of them.

Winning Apprentice of the Year Award was a great achievement. Like all of the finalists, I got a very clear sense from the company that I was valued and that my career was something that people were going to help develop. In my case, I was told on the day ‘we’ll be in touch’ and yet of course you wonder – will that happen? It did.

The company offered me the opportunity to come down to London to gain a wider base of experience and has been absolutely brilliant in making an opportunity available and in being flexible to suit the timings of my HNC, which finished in May.

I’ve been down in London for five weeks and now I’m working on a massive landmark project. I’m working with a Divisional Director, Lee Crozier who is a very busy man, but who still takes the time to give me guidance and feedback – and has made it clear that ‘no question is a daft question’. That’s just one example of the support I’m getting.

To give advice to young people considering an engineering career in TClarke, I would say that the scope and variety of the opportunities here is so wide that there’s something for everyone. There is the opportunity to work on all kinds of projects and sectors. Moreover, this is a place where you are challenged, given responsibility and you will be backed to succeed. You know that you are valued and you’re part of something with a higher meaning.