Celebrating Apprenticeship Week
Community / Inspiration / People

Celebrating Apprenticeship Week

This week at Woodberry Down, we’re celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, during which employers and apprentices from across Britain come together to raise awareness around the success of apprenticeships whilst encouraging even more people to choose an apprenticeship as a pathway to a great career.

What is an apprenticeship scheme?

An apprenticeship combines work, training and study. Apprentices are employed by an organisation or business where they will work alongside experienced staff and are paid a salary. Apprenticeships can be found in both small and large employers from the public and private sector. They’re seen as a great way to attract young talent and they give employers the opportunity to train people in the skills they need in their workforce.

Who should consider an apprenticeship scheme?

For many, the apprenticeship route hasn’t always been well known but they offer a great way to kick start someone’s career. Here are our top reasons as to why people should consider an apprenticeship:

  • Earn whilst you learn – Apprentices earn a salary at the same time as studying for their qualification.
  • Gain relevant experience – Apprentices gain hands on experience in their chosen sector, taught to them by industry experts.
  • Build your network – In most industries or workplaces, it is important to meet as many people as you can to build a network. Apprentices have a great opportunity to build relationships with the people they work with – all of whom will help shape their future career.
  • Nationally recognised qualification – An apprenticeship is a rigorous programme of work that allows people to acquire valuable experience as they learn, all whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification which can lead them on to many other pathways.
  • Guidance and support – Apprentices receive support from a dedicated network of people who provide coaching and advice from start to finish.

Apprenticeship opportunities at Woodberry Down

People can look for individual opportunities to do apprenticeships in the industry of their choosing by doing some research online. Apprenticeship opportunities are also offered right here at Woodberry Down through Berkeley Homes.

As part of the development, there is a commitment to employ 30% local labour and the Berkeley Homes team is always on the look-out for talented young individuals from the area to join the team as an apprentice.

An apprentice working on the development will work alongside industry experts who are dedicated to nurturing their talent so they can grow their skills and develop a career in construction. For more information on apprenticeship opportunities with Berkeley Homes, visit www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/about-us/careers/apprenticeships-at-berkeley-group

Celebrating Apprenticeship Week

Meet some of the Woodberry Down Apprentices

We talked to three Berkeley apprentices to learn about their experiences working at Woodberry Down.


Hackney resident Pearl Atiemoh studies at College of North West London and is training to be an electrician with Berkeley Homes.

Hi Pearl, how did you become a Berkeley apprentice?

It all started when I applied to do Hackney 100* as I was looking to get some work experience. Through Hackney 100, I got an interview with Berkeley Homes who suggested that I do a six-month placement with the Mechanical & Electrical team at Woodberry Down. I’m studying electrical installations at college and they thought it would be a good fit for me. It all worked out really well because after that placement finished, they kept me on as an apprentice electrician! Now I do one day at college and four days working at Woodberry. I hope that when I’m fully qualified, I’ll be able to stay with Berkeley Homes working on the technical side of things.

We love hearing about female ambassadors in construction. Tell us a bit more about being a woman in a male-dominated industry?

There aren’t a lot of female electricians on my course at college, in my class there are about 18 guys and then me! At first, I thought I’d feel intimidated by that but actually it’s been the opposite. I’ve been really supported by everyone at both college and at Berkeley Homes and I’ve made new friends. Being an apprentice electrician makes me feel really proud and I think more women should consider a career in this industry.

How do you feel you have transitioned from school to an apprenticeship?

It was hard to keep up with at first because being an apprentice means that you’re pretty much working full time and you have to get up early but now I’m used to it. It’s such a great opportunity though and there are so many perks – everyone is so supportive, so you learn really fast and then get to put that into practice on-site. Oh, and you get paid which is pretty nice!

Have you learned any valuable lessons yet?

I’ve learnt lots of lessons but the best one is probably how to work as part of a team –it’s so important and is one of my favourite parts of the job. To be honest I always try to take note and remember what I’m learning and take lessons away with me every single day.

What do you say to anybody thinking about taking an apprenticeship?

I think there is so much pressure these days to go to university, but apprenticeships are such a great way to learn new skills and put them into practice at the same time. I really like working hands on and learning things that I can use at home too like wiring a plug and replacing a faulty socket. You also gain a lot of experience which makes it much easier to get a job afterwards.


Charlie Simson studies at Barking & Dagenham College and is training to be a Trainee Site Manager with Berkeley Homes

Hi Charlie, how did you become a Berkeley apprentice?

Most of my family are in the construction industry so I’ve always been interested in it as they love it! I used to do coaching at a school but I wanted a career change so I began investigating apprenticeship opportunities and was accepted by Berkeley Homes. Once you’re in, the support as an apprentice is second to none. There is always someone to go to if you need help.

Tell us about being a Trainee Site Manager apprentice?

It’s great, there is so much versatility coming in to work every day. Sometimes I’m based in the office and other times I’m based on site which suits me well because I like being able to move around. I love being given so much responsibility and managing my own projects on site. I work closely with the team to push things forward and resolve issues as soon as they come up.

What is the best thing about being an apprentice?

You can learn a lot in college but on-site is where you really learn your trade. It’s just such a great way to learn and best of all, you get paid to learn which is something that is going to benefit you in the long run anyway. It feels good to work for such a big company and I want to go as far as Berkeley Homes will push me. The sky is the limit with an apprenticeship. I’d encourage anyone to do one.


Poppy Carson is training for a qualification in digital marketing with Berkeley Homes.

How did you become a Berkeley apprentice?

Before becoming a Berkeley apprentice I studied at sixth form for 2 years, without really knowing what I wanted to do in the future, and whether university was an option for me. It wasn’t until a family friend mentioned marketing as an option I really felt that I had come across something I could be interested in. I looked around at businesses that offered marketing apprentices and having family that are also in construction and having some knowledge of it myself, I felt that the Berkeley Homes’ REACH apprenticeship was the best fit for me.

How do you feel you have transitioned from school to an apprenticeship?

I feel that I have successfully transitioned from school to work. During the end months of school I felt stuck and that everyone else had decided what they wanted to do, leaving me to consider future paths I didn’t particularly want to do, only considering them as a rushed effort to say that I had a plan. Since starting on my REACH apprenticeship, I feel I have developed my skills and are taking on new roles and responsibility. I am supported by my mentors and feel that I am now part of the team.

What do you say to anybody thinking about taking an apprenticeship?

To anyone considering taking or even applying to an apprenticeship, do it! You are learning, gaining real experiences and getting paid at the same time. Don’t feel that because everyone has their plan, that you should force yourself to do something. Everyone will work something out in their own time, don’t rush the process and be disappointed when it’s not something you want. We are taught more than just how to do our jobs, at one point in the year we are all taken on an Outward Bound trip where we learn skills like how to work together as a team, confidence building and communication skills.

*Hackney 100 is a partnership between Hackney Council and Inspire! that creates 100 paid work placements for 16-19 year olds at high profile Hackney businesses. These placements run alongside normal studies and fit around people’s schedules; they will last for a minimum of 70 hours up to a maximum of six months. For more information, visit the website at www.hackney.gov.uk/hackney100.
Celebrating Apprenticeship Week
Celebrating Apprenticeship Week