AS National Apprenticeship Week draws to a close we hear the story of one young person on an apprenticeship scheme.

There are so many options after you leave school; it can be difficult to know what career path to take, never mind the best route in.

However, 18 year old Finlay McLaren from Newton Abbot knew exactly what he wanted to do after his A levels. And to mark National Apprenticeship Week Vistry South West’s new technical apprentice explains why…

Fin started his apprenticeship at Vistry Group – which builds Bovis and Linden properties – in November 2022, after achieving three A levels in English language, product design and political science at Newton Abbot College.

Commenting on his experience, Fin said: ‘I worked as a chef in a pub while I was looking for an apprenticeship.

‘I have a real passion for cooking but the 65-70 hour week wasn’t sustainable and I was keen to forge a career in housebuilding.

‘I’ve always wanted to go down the apprenticeship route. My dad works in housebuilding as a quantity surveyor so I was already aware of the roles available, but it’s almost a hidden industry from a job perspective.

‘Everyone thinks of the site manager and the carpenters, electricians and bricklayers but there’s a range of other jobs in housebuilding that many people my age aren’t aware of – like engineer, marketing manager, land buyer and management accountant.’

Fin lives with his parents and younger brother. He saw the apprenticeship opportunity online and was selected during the interview process.

‘The role involves spending time with each department including technical, build, commercial, land and sales to learn how each team works and supports each other.

Fin, who enjoys going to the gym, reading and cooking in his spare time, is now learning on the job at the Exeter office.

He’s also spending one day a week at Exeter College, where he’s studying a two-year BTEC level three diploma in construction and the built environment.

He continued: ‘Earning and learning simultaneously appealed to me, and it’s a real win-win for me as Vistry is also paying for my course.

‘If I had gone to university then it would have taken a lot of time and I’d have got into student debt – plus, I’m being trained for a job so the vocational approach feels like a better fit.

‘The apprenticeship scheme is definitely underrated. I was so happy when I found out I’d been successful and I cannot wait to see how my role progresses.’

Paul Moran, managing director, said: ‘An apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity for someone who is interested in a career in housebuilding.

‘Not only is it great for the individual but it works well for employers too as we have an employee with a well-rounded knowledge of the business, who is fully trained and committed.

‘By investing in the right person, we’re able to help them shape the role based on their skills and interests – which could be anything from architecture to engineering or project management.

‘Vistry is a great company to work for – our chief executive started as an apprentice himself, so it’s a position that’s heavily valued within the business – and it will hopefully lead to a very successful and enjoyable career.’

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