As part of Apprenticeship Week, we have been speaking to some of our apprentices and former apprentices to show what it is like to go through an apprenticeship at Midland Heart.
John Moran spoke to us about balancing his apprenticeship in Midland Heart’s Property Care service and family life.
Hi John, how did you find out about the apprenticeship?
“I started out on the venture project which is voluntary work for three months where you can try something to see if you can adapt and try to fit into that role.
“I was in a period where I had damaged my knee and my father had passed away so I was stuck in a rut and had been looking for a job for a while. I heard the apprenticeship was coming up so I stayed on for another three months to keep me in the frame of mind of going into work.
“I am due to finish my apprenticeship in November 2017.”
How have you found it?
“It’s been a brilliant experience. It has taught me so much, in terms of home improvement I had no real experience, but now I have tried plumbing, carpentry, tiling, bricklaying, ground work, every aspect of the trade. This stuff is invaluable, and I use these things on a daily basis.”
Have you been doing any qualifications with it?
“I have been doing qualifications since I started. I enrolled at college to do an NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Multi-trade. A qualification that says I can do all aspects of the trade. It is definitely something worth doing and you can’t put a price on it.”
Can you describe a bit about your role and who you work with?
“There are 60 operatives and I have got on with all of them and worked with a high number of them. If there is a trade you struggle with you can request to be put with someone who has that as their strongest trade. I struggled with plumbing and plastering and I have picked them up in a few months.
“You also meet a lot of new people. My social life has changed, before I was with the family so I didn’t see more than a couple of close friends, and now that’s changed. My wife has even got to know some of the operatives and their families.”
Now you are in, how do you want to progress?
“I am hoping for a full time role at Midland Heart as an operative like the ones I have been assisting on a daily basis. If there aren’t any positions, I will come out with a qualification that I can use elsewhere. A lot of places are looking for multi-trade qualifications so I will be able to gain full time employment, so it opens a lot of avenues.”
Were there any challenges that you had to overcome?
“Yeah, I am a father of five children and I have a wife. The kids were used to Daddy being at home so they have now adjusted to the fact that Daddy now goes to work, which is a learning curve to show them that you need to go to work for the benefit of the family.
“The main hurdle was that I played a major role in the household, so their mother has had to adjust to having a bigger role, which has been a brilliant experience for her, as she thought she couldn’t cope, but she has proved she can.
“It has benefitted the whole family, as well as in the household, being able to do repairs and being able to afford to upgrade the house with the income. It has been a ‘win win’ situation for all of us.”
Is there any advice you give to somebody looking to do an apprenticeship?
“I would say they need to put everything they have got into it. Midland Heart is one of the best companies I could have done an apprenticeship with. With anything you are struggling with they are more than willing to help and point you in the right direction.
“I am 35 and I thought that an apprenticeship wasn’t going to help as they are known for being for young people but it has been a valid experience that has been life changing.”