The number of college students going on to higher education has increased by 3% from last year with over 410,000 people attending Universities across the UK this academic year. However, although the proportion of students moving on to study postgraduate degrees is on the rise, Hannah Tyler, 19 from Watford decided to go against the norm and choose a different path.
Leaving college with three A-levels under her belt, Hannah wasn’t convinced that going on to University was the right choice for her. With the majority of courses costing an average of £9,000 a year and taking three years to complete, the cost and time for some students raises debate as to whether they would prefer to find a job and start their career straight away.
Hannah was looking for a programme where she could work and study simultaneously and after searching the internet to find a suitable apprenticeship for her; she found a trainee management programme on the Galliford Try website to join their top 5 housebuilder sister company, Linden Homes.
Hannah was surprised there were so few opportunities for someone like her: “Through my research I quickly discovered that there are plenty of vocational apprenticeships available for those who have just left secondary school and on the other hand, lots of opportunities for undergraduates. However I found it quite a challenge finding a programme suitable for someone like me who had A-level qualifications and wanted to continue studying whilst having a job.”
Starting in January 2014 at the Linden Homes Chiltern head office based in Harefield, Hannah has gained insight into a variety of different job roles to help find the right career choice for her.
The trainee management programme runs for 18 months- 2 years. It consists of on the job training that can be tailored to the individual’s skills and interests. At the end of the programme the student is guaranteed a full time job and where possible will be placed in their preferred department in the company.
“Initially my friends and family were surprised that I had a job in the construction industry but the programme isn’t as they would expect. It’s really opened my eyes to the industry and made me realise there are far more jobs behind the scenes than just being a builder building the houses - it’s just having the knowledge that these jobs actually exist!”
“So far I’ve worked with the sales and marketing, finance, customer service and land departments and I’ve really enjoyed learning about something different like construction – an industry I didn’t know much about previously. I spent a month with the construction team where I even went out on a live building site. It was really interesting seeing the different stages of build over the month and how the site manager is involved. However I don’t think I’d fare too well outside in the cold winters!”
Luckily, with the Linden Homes trainee management programme there was also the option to continue studying.
Studying a Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment, Hannah attends Oaklands College in Welwyn one day a week. The two year course covers a range of subjects including surveying, maths and graphical detailing. As it is coursework based, Hannah can study in the evenings to gain the qualification that supports her work with Linden Homes.
Naomi Burrell, Hannah’s designated mentor is Linden Homes marketing and communications manager: “Hannah has expressed a particular interest in both the marketing and land departments so we have been tailoring the programme and using Hannah’s skills to suit the requirements for these teams.
“Not only does the experience help Hannah discover the different types of careers within the housebuilding industry but for us, having Hannah on board has been a great assistance to the teams at our head office. Being offered a full time job at the end of her programme is testament to her hard work and commitment to the company.
"Hannah has a final note of advice to other college students thinking about their next step: “I’m so pleased that I followed my gut feeling that University wasn’t the best decision for me. There are lots of opportunities for those not wanting to go on to University and for me it’s been such an advantage to be able to gain experience whilst having a full time job and studying. Linden Homes has really opened the doors for me and I’m well on my way to deciding which career path is the best fit for me.”
Linden Homes is an award-winning housebuilder and the fifth largest residential developer in the UK.
For further information, contact Claire Cathersides or Emma Cox at Remarkable Content on 01962 893893.
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