Earn while you learn: Apprenticeships
by Hannah Taylor, former Apprentice and BMF Marketing Assistant
5 November 2019
Taylor started her search for an apprenticeship in 2017. She found a
Marketing Apprenticeship at the BMF on
the GOV.UK website. The location was perfect, so she applied and started
a 15 month apprenticeship in January 2018, which Hannah completed in 12 months.
wanted to make marketing my career,” explains Hannah. “My boyfriend
encouraged me to look at apprenticeships as he started this way. He knew
the benefits of ‘earning while you learn’. It’s the best way of getting
your foot in the door, he said, and I wouldn’t regret it. He wasn’t
had no knowledge of the sector, so I had to do a lot of research before
my interview.” Hannah’s lack of awareness isn’t unusual. “I hadn’t
considered an apprenticeship, and this wasn’t a career I was told about
in school or college,” says Hannah.
apprenticeship was more than learning about marketing. “I’ve learnt a
lot about the building materials industry and why it’s important. The
industry is growing, and companies are investing in the future, building
both their businesses and their people. Everyone I’ve met at events and
forums have been friendly and helpful. It’s not as male-dominated as I
thought and there are plenty of inspirational female role models to look
important because, as well as improving awareness, we need to change
perceptions and inspire people of all ages, backgrounds and gender.
Whether you’re setting out as a young person, or looking to switch
careers, there’s an amazing breadth of jobs with opportunities to start
in one role and progress or move around.
is a skills gap, however I feel that there needn’t be as this is a
friendly and welcoming industry which fosters diversity and inclusion
and looks to attract and develop talented people,” says Hannah. “There’s
great variety in careers with huge opportunities for progression. Sadly
though, people that don’t work in the industry presume that the only
career available is working in a yard, which is not the case. There are
careers in marketing, IT, driving, finance, human resources and many
completing her apprenticeship, Hannah became a full-time Marketing
Assistant at the BMF. “My role developed with every assignment I
completed, and I was able to apply each piece of coursework to tasks and
projects in my job. My confidence and abilities have grown, and I’ve
gained responsibility. I now look after the relaunched BuildingMaterials Careers website
, which is part of the BMF’s strategy to
promote job opportunities, and help members recruit a workforce from a
wide range of backgrounds and experience.”
advice to people considering an apprenticeship or career in the
building materials sector is: “Do it! You won’t regret it. There’s a
reason so many people in the sector have been working in it for most of
their careers. It’s an excellent industry to work in. If you have the
ambition, drive and determination to succeed, you’ll go far. My ambition
is to work my way up. It will take time and a lot of hard work, but I
know I can do it!”
The BMF is proud to support The Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants (WCoBM)
with its campaign - #BuildACareerWithoutLimits
- to ‘shout out’ for construction and communicate career opportunities in our sector. Here, WCoBM asks young people in merchanting how training, education and apprenticeships have helped them develop their careers.
Inspirational stories like these are at the heart the BMF’s Building Materials Careers campaign
and the WCoBM’s #BuildACareerWithoutLimits
campaign – real life case studies that help transform and improve
perceptions. The campaign targets apprentices; school, college and
university leavers; people who work in the sector or are thinking of a
change of career.
has dedicated funds to support training and education with a new
bursary of up to £2,000 a person. Available through its Charity Fund,
the bursary is open to apprentices and students looking to work for a
builders’ merchant or supplier, and to people working in the sector.
you would like to apply directly, or know someone who could benefit
from the bursary, visit www.wcobm.co.uk/about/build-your-career
Applications are subject to specific criteria.
This article first appeared in the October 2019 edition of BMN
To find out more about the BMF's Apprenticeship Plus service click here