Meet our construction trainees

Three staff in high-viz on a construction site

Get essential certificates and cement your start in the construction industry with our construction skills programme. We caught up with two of our trainees, Shakara and Walid, to find out more about their experiences. 

Meet our trainees 

Tell us about you 

Shakara: I’m 23 and I’m on the Women into Construction training programme. 👋 

Walid: I’m 26 and I’m taking Introduction to Groundworks.

What were you doing before the training? 

Shakara: I had worked in the industry previously as a trainee dryliner/supervisor on a different project. However, I wanted to do something more management-related. I left the industry to explore my options and was unemployed when this opportunity came up.

Walid: I was working in McDonalds and felt that I wasn’t making enough money. I also felt that it was a job with no prospects. People that I was working with were a lot younger than me and didn’t take the role seriously. I realised that it wasn’t for me, but I had bills to pay. I didn’t want to do a long-term college course, so I thought my options were limited.

How did you find out about the training opportunity and what interested you about it? 

Shakara: I heard about the training through word of mouth. I was interested in the sound of the Women into Construction programme due to my previous experience.

I had always been interested in construction and thought that this opportunity would allow me to explore the more office-based roles that are available which I hadn’t really been aware of before.

Walid: I was in care when I was younger, and my old adviser called to find out how I was doing. I mentioned that I wasn’t enjoying retail and ideally wanted to work in construction.  My advisor knew about TfL’s construction courses in East London and asked if I would be interested.

I got a call from TfL’s East London Skills Manager who told me more about the training and helped calm any fears I had about studying. They reassured me that the course was doable and would open the door to the kind of opportunity that I was looking for. The fact that the course was two weeks and gave me my CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card, health and safety training and was employer-led really appealed to me.

What training did you do?

Women working at desks for the construction skills course at the Barking Riverside extension building site

Shakara: I took part in a four-week Women into Construction programme. The programme included information on health and safety, different construction trades and general construction behaviours, as well as my CSCS card. It also included a two-week work experience placement, help with my CV and support preparing for interviews. I also took part in a Traffic Marshall course to broaden my knowledge.

Construction trainees learning from an instructor

Walid: I took part in the Groundwork training programme. This covered the basics around groundwork and how to carry it out, the health, safety and environment test along with CSCS card.  Site hazards and procedures were also covered along with substance misuse and site inductions. The course also gave me advice on my CV, timekeeping, interviews and general work behaviours. 🧑‍🎓 

What happened after you completed the training?

Shakara: I applied for one of the opportunities listed on the TfL portal for an Apprentice Projects Admin Officer with Morgan Sindall on the TfL Barking Riverside Extension Project and was successful. 🎉 

Walid: I was put forward for various roles in East London and originally started work as a labourer. However, I wasn’t too keen on this role. I was told about another opportunity for the Olympic Park working with Balfour Beatty as a Hod Carrier so I’ve moved on to here.

What difference has the training made to your life?

Shakara: The opportunity allowed me to see outside of my every day South London view which is exciting. It also gave me the opportunity to gain practical work experience with a full-time salary and tangible qualifications in my new apprenticeship. 💼

Walid: Since passing the course, I feel that anything is possible – especially as I passed the course with flying colours! I see now that everything is achievable as long as I put in the work. I have much more self-belief and am now more outgoing and always up for the opportunity to grow my skills. 👍 

What would you like to do in the future with your training?

Shakara: I would like to continue working in the industry. I’d like to become more experienced in my current role and explore project management.

Cranes in the sky behind a station

Walid: I would like to become a crane driver and I’ve started to explore my options there. I plan to make sure I have the qualification and the experience needed before I’m 30. 🏗️

How would you sum up the experience?

Shakara: I still feel very excited about construction. I love what I do, and I’m happy to share my knowledge and skills with others. I’m getting to experience all the opportunities that were once just in my imagination!

Walid: The programme has changed my life! Working in construction was my ultimate goal and this programme has set me up for life. I am now earning more than good money, but not only that, I can see my long-term future and the path I’m going to take.

Also, the course has filled me with confidence and changed my mindset to one where I feel I can achieve anything! I know I want to work as crane driver in the future and have spoken to my employers about this, who are happy to help support me. I really want to say thank you!

About our programme

Construction trainee with an instructor on a building site

We work with training partners to offer short courses for upcoming roles on our construction projects and major developments across London.

Each course focuses on a specific construction role and includes a Health and Safety Level 1 certificate and CSCS card – requirements you’ll need to work on any construction project.

Get in touch [email protected]

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