Case study: Ben Francis
Ben Francis, 19, is a Cyfle Building Skills apprentice currently working to complete a Level 3 NVQ in construction on placement with T.A.D. Builders in Llanelli.
Originally from Neath, Ben attended Coedffranc Primary School and Dwr-Y-Felin Comprehensive School before enrolling at Neath Port Talbot College.
It was during his time at Neath Port Talbot College that Cyfle Building Skills academy co-ordinator, Rhys Fisher, visited his class to talk to the students about the opportunities that an apprenticeship could offer them.
From this talk, Ben could see that becoming an apprentice would offer the opportunity to acquire hands on experience in a variety of areas within the construction industry, as opposed to simply continuing with classroom-based learning, and so decided to give it a go.
Ben described the process he underwent to become an apprentice with Cyfle Building Skills:
“The first step was to have a face-to-face interview with the Cyfle Building Skills team based in Neath College. They were all really friendly and seemed very interested in me and what I wanted to do.
“After this interview, I waited a week or so and received a letter to say I had been accepted onto the scheme. Since then, I have been with two different companies Andrew Scott first, to try civil engineering, and now T.A.D. Builders to learn quantity surveying.”
Ben is nearing the completion of his Level 3 NVQ in construction and hopes to be fully qualified by the end of the summer.
The apprenticeship has given him vital work experience, that he believes will help him considerably to follow his chosen career working within the construction industry. The apprenticeship has also given him the experience he needed to decide what he would like to do in further education, and ultimately what he wants to do as a career.
He strongly advises anyone considering a career in the construction sector to embark upon an apprenticeship course, as he explained:
“The apprenticeship gives you that first step in the door of a company. You don’t have to go to the interviews worrying about selling yourself to the interviewer, because Cyfle Building Skills has already spoken about you to the company. It’s more about the company meeting you.”
“The best advice I can give is just to give it a go and see where it takes you. Cyfle Building Skills will 100% do what they can to make sure that you enjoy the experience and opportunities that they will give you. But if for some reason you aren’t enjoying what you are doing, they will look for placements for you in other sectors of the construction industry.
“Becoming an apprentice has taught me the essential skills that an individual requires to be a part of the construction industry.”