As we are the No1 College for Apprenticeship achievement in the North, here at Hartlepool College we are again celebrating another developing career of one of our leading apprentices and is hoping her journey can inspire more young people. Rebecca Hodge, 19, from Hartlepool, a Trainee Quantity Surveyor apprentice at Tees Valley civil engineering company Gus Robinson Developments Ltd has offered advice for people thinking of following in her footsteps by saying:
“If you’re thinking about entering into an apprenticeship or a career in construction there is a lot of room for movement within the industry. If I wanted to change my role in a couple of years I know I would have the support to be able to do that. The great thing about my apprenticeship is it has given me the experience I need. My studies are being funded too so I have the freedom to go to university when I choose to do so. I’ve also managed to pay for my own car since I’ve been working at Gus Robinsons and I know that this job gives me that financial security. I definitely believe I’m in a better position financially and professionally than other 19 yr olds and I owe it to my apprenticeship.”
Rebecca said: “I first went to a different college to do my AS-levels and it just wasn’t for me. I didn’t have a firm idea of what I wanted to be. I had notions of being either a police officer or something involving geography but really, I didn’t have a clue. It’s because I didn’t have an idea that I initially looked at construction. I thought there is such a wide range of prospects available to me with this career path and that it was a brilliant time for a woman to join the industry since there is so much encouragement and initiatives. At first, I did my level three diploma in construction and built environment at Hartlepool FE and in my second year I went part-time, because Ian, my lecturer had secured me a job at Gus Robinson.”
Rebecca is now employed full time by Gus Robinson and attends the college for one day a week to study her HND. The company she works for now supports her through her studies and Rebecca hopes this can lead on to a degree.
She said: “There are others who have been former apprentices like me and they went on to study a Surveying degree at Northumbria University. Gus Robinson is great because they will support me through my degree and I plan to become an assistant surveyor whilst I’m studying.”
In her role at Gus Robinson, Rebecca works alongside the commercial team on a variety of high-profile schemes across the business. Rebecca said: “At the moment, I’m not a fully-fledged Quantity Surveyor but I still work closely with the Commercial Manager, primarily undertaking what’s known as ‘take offs’, where I take off measurements on plans in order to keep them within budget and send out quotes to subcontractors. It’s quite an important role. If I don’t get the right costs for the job then we could lose a lot of money.”
We and Gus Robinson have a strong working relationship in the past as a number of former apprentices have taken up roles with the Civil Engineering company, including current Head of Apprenticeships, Gary Riches, who began his career as an apprentice with the company. Recently, Hartlepool College of Further Education has been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED for its apprenticeship provision and has also been shortlisted in the Apprenticeship Programme of the Year category at the Times Education Supplement Further Education awards.