A Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies student from Solihull College & University has successfully gained an apprenticeship with construction firm Skanska.
Sam Teal, 20 from Solihull, was keen to pursue a career in the construction industry when he left school. After deciding civil engineering was for him, he discovered the College offered courses specific to this career route straight from school.
Sam attended the College from 2017–2019 and studied on the full time BTEC level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction & the Built Environment – the equivalent to 3 A-Levels.
Sam enjoyed studying on the BTEC level 3 course. He comments: “I enjoyed learning about the different construction disciplines and how they all integrate to construct the buildings we all use. It gave me the opportunity to speak to different construction professionals that could direct me to different job vacancies. The other advantage is when attending interviews and assessment days I can demonstrate my construction knowledge to the employer – improving my chances of securing a job.”
After progressing to university, Sam decided it wasn’t for him and returned to the College in 2020 to study a full time HNC in Civil Engineering. Sam is now about to start a BEng degree apprenticeship with Skanska as a trainee site civil engineer. He will be part of the Regional Delivery Partnership team working on M42 Junction 6. The role will involve providing support to all aspects of construction. Obtaining his HNC at the College has allowed him to start the degree element of his apprenticeship at Coventry University in the 3rd year.
Sam is excited about the future: “By obtaining this apprenticeship I get to work on an interesting construction project while obtaining my degree without any university fees, whilst also earning a good salary. I’ve tried both apprenticeship and degree routes. While the social life is good at university you cannot beat the practical experience you obtain through an apprenticeship. The other benefit is you are getting a salary which is a lot better than relying on maintenance loans and worrying about tuition fees.”
The aim for Sam is to ultimately become a professionally qualified engineer. He states: “I would absolutely recommend an apprenticeship to other young people just leaving school or finishing BTEC/A-Levels. There are apprenticeships that cater to a variety of jobs at different levels of education. While an apprenticeship is hard work and you have to be committed to your studies, it can provide you with the opportunity to be very successful in your chosen career.”