Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships give us a great opportunity to help our people achieve their ambitions while creating a sustainable workforce. We are investing in the future of our business with on average 175 apprentices studying at any one time.

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What we offer

By enhancing and diversifying our apprentice scheme and with increased interest from our people, we aim to grow apprenticeship numbers by 25%. As well as engineering apprenticeships, employees of all ages and functions across the business, can gain a qualification and sound theoretical knowledge to support their work in roles such as Project Management, Data Analysis, Accounting and Business administration.

Simon Delmo

Harnessing data can help the business make key strategic decisions, so I decided to undertake the apprenticeship a year into my employment with Integral to build on my current set of skills and to hopefully come away with relevant qualifications. The LDC (Learning Development Coach) supports and guides you through the learning, and you also get support from others in your apprentice cohort.

Simon's story
Simon Delmo
Data Analyst Apprentice
Harnessing data can help the business make key strategic decisions that have a beneficial impact on people, buildings or operations.

Where do you work now / my current job is

Data Analyst within Integral’s Technologies Team (Re-imagined).

When I left school I?

I left sixth form college in 2004 and subsequently undertook various roles, eventually leading to my career within the M&E / FM industry, and more recently in data analytics.

What was your first job?

Non-Data Analytics related – Hotel Room Service Assistant
Data Analytics related – Service Delivery Manager / Business/Data Analyst

What role or roles have you held?

  • Hotel Room Service Assistant
  • Hotel Banqueting Cashier
  • Warehouse Operative
  • Kumon Teaching Assistant
  • Helpdesk Operative
  • PPM Administrator
  • FM Technical Officer / Assistant FM Centre Manager
  • FM Centre Manager
  • Service Delivery Manager / Business/Data Analyst
  • Data Analyst

How did you get into the industry / what attracted you to the industry?

I started in the M&E / FM industry as a helpdesk operative and via various promotions, progressed to becoming the FM Centre / Helpdesk Manager. I hadn’t had a particular desire to build a career in the industry before my role as a helpdesk operative, but I gradually developed a keen interest due to the multiple disciplines involved in building maintenance. I later became passionate about data analysis when working with CAFM system data and generating reports in my roles as FM Technical Officer and FM Centre Manager. This subsequently led me to pursue roles as a business / data analyst, culminating in my current role with Integral.

How long have you been with Integral?

Start Date: 25 Feb 2019

Did you have any training or qualifications prior to starting the apprenticeship that are relevant to your role?

None that were relevant to data analytics, but I did have qualification in Facilities Management, other M&E related disciplines and Health & Safety.

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

Since I found my passion for working with data, it has guided my career path. Understanding how useful data can be and knowing how you can use it to provide valuable insights, is a great interest of mine.
In this digital age where data is being collated for almost anything, I think it’s important not to miss out on all the opportunities where harnessing data can help you and the business make key strategic decisions. It’s exciting how you can use data to tell a story or provide evidence for informed decisions that have a beneficial impact on people, buildings or operations, or even to find hidden issues that might otherwise be overlooked.

What do you think the benefits of the apprenticeship model are?

  • On the job training – being able to apply skills learned to “real-world” / work-based projects.
  • Structured competencies and behaviours – making sure you demonstrate an understanding of the required skills needed for the career path.
  • Qualifications – a great way to evidence competencies and understanding with the course content.
  • Tutor led revision classes – support from college tutors with course content.
  • Cohort benefits –additional support from fellow apprentices (in different industries also).

Many people assume apprenticeships are just for teenagers – how do you think it works for those who are older?

Being an older apprentice myself, I can say that this assumption is incorrect. I had decided to undertake the apprenticeship a year into my employment with Integral to build on my current set of skills and to hopefully come away with relevant qualifications.

I’ve personally not come across any barriers with regards to age both within the business or with the apprenticeship provider, and if the student can show commitment to the requirements of the apprenticeship, and the employer is able to support their needs, then there shouldn’t be any issues at all.

What does your apprenticeship consist of and how long will it take?

The Data Analyst apprenticeship consists of several work-based projects requiring the apprentice to demonstrate several behaviours and competencies set out by the apprenticeship provider (following industry standards i.e. BCS). There are also 2 multiple-choice exams which will provide the apprentice with qualifications once they have passed. Once this first phase has been completed and the portfolio has been assessed and passed (Portfolio includes an employer reference, off-the-job tracker, and referencing sheet to evidence where competencies are met), the apprentice will need do a synoptic project and an assessed interview.

Typically, this should take 15 weeks, although due to the pandemic and furlough it had taken me longer to complete (still ongoing).

How are you finding the course so far and the learning methods and support? How has it helped you in your day to day work?

I’m currently completing my remaining project work and preparing for end phase assessment. The apprenticeship provider provides each student with an LDC (Learning Development Coach) to support and guide them through their learning, which helps us with keeping to our objectives.

Has anything surprised you?

Yes. Finding the relevant project work to demonstrate all the required competencies. My role is quite bespoke and more involved in technology implementation (IoT tech, existing third-party analytical platforms) so at times it has been difficult to take on projects that would showcase some of the specific competencies required for this apprenticeship.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

I am hoping to utilize the new skills I’ve learnt and to undertake more challenging roles within the industry. I can certainly foresee various opportunities within the Integral tech team to help improve our services and build on the product offerings from our third-party suppliers. In doing so, I hope to continuously improve on the skills I’ve gained by putting them into regular practice.

I also hope to further my skill set in Data Science and machine learning, which will benefit the business and the team. By understanding the full scope of what can be achieved with the products we’re offering our clients, I can help us to identify any additional opportunities to add value, improving the overall management of buildings and key outcomes around performance, efficiency, sustainability and more.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

I would say that an apprenticeship is great way to bolster your skillset for a particular discipline or to develop new skills altogether. It not only offers theoretical learning but is also practical due to implementing the skills and knowledge in a “real-world” / work-based environment.

For those who are concerned that their age may be a limiting factor, I would say that this isn’t the case at all, if you have the willingness to learn and can commit to the work involved, you can certainly achieve great things for yourself and the organization you work for.

I would however recommend that you take a careful look into the competencies and requirements before deciding to undertake the commitment, and work with your sponsor/manager to ensure you have the sufficient scope and resource available in your role, to undertake all that is required.

Shemari Linton

Working life is completely different to being in school or university and an apprenticeship is a way of easing you into that environment while having experienced people around to guide you along the way. If you consider yourself to be an individual who works best via learning on the job, rather than a classroom environment, an apprenticeship can be a great option and the best of both worlds.

Shemari's Story
Shemari Linton
Trainee Quantity Surveyor
Having a variety of real-life practical experiences teaches you how to adapt classroom knowledge to overcome challenges.

Where do you work now / my current job is

Hall & Kay Fire Engineering – Trainee Quantity Surveyor

When I left school I?

Went to Sixth Form at WMG Academy Solihull, where I received a triple Distinction in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering

How did you get into the industry / what attracted you to the industry?

Aspiration for construction and what it entails
Being part of big projects

How long have you been with Hall & Kay?

2 years 5 months

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

I enjoy my role as this allows me to gain real work experience. Working life is completely different to being in school or university and an apprenticeship is a way of easing you into that environment while having experienced people around to guide you along the way.

Many people assume apprenticeships are just for teenagers – how do you think it works for those who are older?

People typically imagine young adults having just finished school, however this is far from the reality. There are no age restrictions when it comes to apprenticeships, they are available for anyone who wants to professionally develop.

What does your apprenticeship consist of and how long will it take?

My apprenticeship takes 3 years and consists of a Level 4 HNC in Construction and the Built Environment as well as well as Construction Quantity Surveying Technician Apprenticeship.

How are you finding the course so far and the learning methods and support? How has it helped you in your day to day work?

The course has helped me get started in the industry as it has allowed me to connect taught scenario’s in lectures to real-life activity of the construction industry. I currently receive support from my lecturer and apprenticeship assessor who are guiding me towards the completion of my course.

Has anything surprised you?

How much you learn about yourself while applying what you have been taught. Not every real situation can be dealt with in exactly the same way, so having a variety of real-life experiences on a practical level, teaches you how to adapt classroom knowledge and use your initiative to overcome challenges.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations – how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Hall & Kay?

I hope the apprenticeship gives me the qualification and understanding to continually develop within the company and reach higher altitudes by expressing and demonstrating my knowledge within the work that I carry out.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

If you are someone like myself, who wants to go straight into work and consider yourself to be an individual who works best via learning on the job, rather than a classroom environment day-to-day at university, then an apprenticeship can be a great option and the best of both worlds.

Dawn Currington

The apprenticeship model allowed me to integrate training with my work and learning techniques that apply to my current and future roles, which will improve my opportunities for career progression. The transition from on-site training to on-line sessions, due to the pandemic, was more successful than anticipated. There’s no reason why apprenticeship can’t happen at any age not just at the beginning of a career.

Dawn's story
Dawn Currington
Contract Delivery Manager
Embrace the opportunity for further education. My knowledge, opportunities for career progression and confidence have all significantly improved.

What was your first job?

I left school in 1985 and became a secretary at an Insurance Brokers, London

What role or roles have you held?

Various administrative roles across a number of industries.

How did you get into the industry / what attracted you to the industry?

I moved from an asset performance management role into FM, managing sub-contractor performance for some high street retailers. It was then that I realised that my background in service, understanding the importance of creating a safe and happy environment for employees and customers, and ability to build strong relationships to get results, were a perfect match for a career in facilities management.

How long have you been with Integral?

I joined in Dec 2019.

Did you have any training or qualifications prior to starting the apprenticeship that are relevant to your role?

Numerous courses attended over the years relating to people management and communication, but nothing recently.

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

I enjoy building relationships with customers and colleagues, especially through face to face meetings and site visits. I get immense satisfaction from delivering results, improving performance and exceeding client expectations. Opportunities to enhance technical knowledge and exposure to new systems and processes also adds variety to the role.

What do you think the benefits of the apprenticeship model are?

The model allowed me to integrate training with my work and learning techniques that apply to my current and future roles, which will improve my opportunities for career progression.

Many people assume apprenticeships are just for teenagers – how do you think it works for those who are older?

It gives an opportunity to either enhance or expand your current skills or to learn a new trade. There’s no reason why apprenticeship can’t happen at any age not just at the beginning of a career.

What does your apprenticeship consist of and how long will it take?

The Operational Management level 5 course took almost 2 years. It included an introduction into theories and models to support operations or departmental management. Skills and behaviours were evidenced through professional discussions, and a basic level of Maths and English qualification was required.

How are you finding the course so far and the learning methods and support? How has it helped you in your day to day work?

I completed the course in Oct, passing with a distinction. The transition from on-site training to on-line sessions, due to the pandemic, was more successful than anticipated. Although I missed the opportunity to meet colleagues from around the business the one to one support from the Development Coach was very beneficial.

Has anything surprised you?

During the 5 months of furlough leave, I found the requirements of the course and support being provided brought much needed structure at a very difficult time.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

By adding structure to my existing skill set it gives me opportunities to look at other roles in the organization, in particular team management positions. It also helped to build my confidence, as I appreciate now that I am capable of learning new things, even at my age!

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

Please embrace the opportunity for further education. It can be challenging to manage the workload at times, and can encroach on your personal life, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. My knowledge, opportunities for career progression and confidence have all significantly improved. In my experience, organisations that are willing to invest in their employees like this are few and far between. It is said that “knowledge itself is power”, so this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Harry Stallard

I took the apprenticeship route as I have always been better performing in a job situation, school just wasn’t something that grabbed my attention. My greatest highlight to date was when my manager was away on annual leave and trusted me - with the support of senior managers - to take on a lot more responsibility of the day-to-day running of the site.

Harry's story
Harry Stallard
Apprentice Contract Delivery Manager
I knew I would much rather leave school and get valuable experience in the workplace at the same time as working towards a qualification.

What made you consider a career in contract management with Integral?

Back in 2018 I completed my work experience at Integral, and during that time I was shown all different aspects of the business, such as mobile engineering, health and safety with Phil Bamping.
I mostly worked alongside a Contracts Manager on the Ministry of Justice contracts across the Midlands, which was when I became interested in the business and pursuing the role. This was also when I first considered an apprenticeship, and I enquired if Integral employed CDM apprentices – which they do. I now work in the public sector area of the business on PFI contracts.

Why take the apprenticeship route? And how long is your apprenticeship?

I took the apprenticeship route as I have always been better performing in a job situation, school just wasn’t something that grabbed my attention and I’ve always known I didn’t want to go to university. I knew I would much rather leave school and get valuable experience in the workplace at the same time as working towards a qualification.
My apprenticeship is a Facilities Management level 4 Diploma and is 18 months long, I am scheduled to finish December 2022.

What does a normal day look like for you?

My first task once I arrive in the office will be to check my emails and any flagged tasks from the previous day/week. Then I will touch base with my manager regarding any outstanding actions we might have and this will usually be a handful of tasks that need to be completed by close of play, so I will spend the majority of the day dealing with those.
In the course of my duties I liaise with a number of people from Senior Managers, Subcontractors, clients and engineers, so my day can involve finance, compliance, reporting, scheduling and learning.

What is it you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy arranging and submitting quotes for large works, because it will usually result in a noticeable change and beneficial impact to the site, which is gratifying to see. I also enjoy watching the process of these projects and how they progress once underway.

What has been your greatest highlight and your biggest challenge?

My greatest highlight to date was when my manager was away on annual leave and trusted me – with the support of senior managers – to take on a lot more responsibility of the day-to-day running of the site. Ultimately this was also the biggest challenge as there were many problems throughout the period that I became involved in resolving, and I believe this will prepare me for my own contract in the future.

Where do you see yourself in the mid-long term once you complete your apprenticeship?

Once my apprenticeship finishes in just over a years’ time, I will look to secure a role as a Facilities Coordinator or an Assistant Contracts Manager, until I have the proper wealth of experience required to go for a full Contract Manager role.

What is the one thing you wish you knew before starting your apprenticeship?

How technical the job is -although you’re not on the ground doing the actual PPM’s and reactive jobs, it’s still important to know what these things are and what is involved, as it helps with understanding priorities, managing the contract and the FM side of the job.

What advice would you give to someone else considering an apprenticeship and a career in this industry?

Be prepared to be a little swamped sometimes, PFI is busy and every day is different. It can be hard at first to adjust to the workload – especially if you are coming straight from school – but Integral have many different ways to support you while you adjust, so embrace the advice and support offered from those with experience. You won’t look back!

Ben Tucker

I believe it is the best way of getting into the industry and gaining hands on experience, earning while learning the onsite knowledge, and being able to achieve a qualification at the end of it. I have found working through the various processes has given me valuable skills for the future. I would like to explore different areas and also look into becoming an Electrical Authorised Person (EAP).

Ben's story
Ben Tucker
Level 3 Electrical apprentice
It is the best way of getting into the industry and gaining hands on experience, while being able to achieve a qualification too.

Where do you work now / my current job is:

Electrical apprentice on The Crown Estate portfolio

What was your first job?

I left school in 2018 and joined Integral as an apprentice.

How did you get into the industry / what attracted you to the industry?

My father is in the industry and I have always enjoyed being around it

Did you have any training or qualifications prior to starting the apprenticeship that are relevant to your role?

I have a level 2 City and Guilds carpentry qualification

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

I have always enjoyed taking something that is broken and working though it methodically to resolve the problem.

What do you think the benefits of the apprenticeship model are?

I believe this is a good way of covering everything you need to know in this large subject as it spans a decent amount of time to thoroughly cover all the relevant knowledge and put it into practice in real life scenarios.

What does your apprenticeship consist of and how long will it take?

My apprenticeship is 4 years and consists of completing 20 off the job tasks – this can consist of college work or works not on the tools.

How are you finding the course so far and the learning methods and support? How has it helped you in your day to work?

Learning the theory and methods behind everything provides a good solid foundation of knowledge from which my own experiences on the tools adds further depth and detail. I have found working through the various processes has given me valuable skills for the future.

Has anything surprised you?

I was surprised on the amount of different areas and sectors across engineering.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

I would like to explore different areas and also look into becoming an Electrical Authorised Person (EAP). Among other things, an AP is responsible for ensuring safe working practices on complex, low voltage systems within a company or organisation, including taking electrical systems out of service for maintenance, repair or commissioning and reinstating once work is completed.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

I would say to do it! I believe it is the best way of getting into the industry and gaining hands on experience, earning while learning the onsite knowledge, and being able to achieve a qualification at the end of it as well.

Sophie Sallis

I am loving my qualification, it has grown my confidence by showing me I am more capable of what I give myself credit for, it has enhanced my current skillset and it has given me the opportunity to portray these attributes in my day-to-day job, which has resulted in managing extra workload and taking on more duties to help me progress further within the company.

Sophie's story
Sophie Sallis
Engineering Adminstrator
It has grown my confidence, enhanced my current skillset and given me the opportunity to portray these attributes in my day-to-day job.

When I left school I?

Began a childcare course, but changed halfway through to a beauty course.

What was your first job?

I started my work life journey within the hotel industry on front of house.

What role or roles have you held?

Receptionist, Administrator and Barmaid. At the moment, within Integral I am a mixture of Receptionist, Engineering Admin and Office Admin. I am also involved with the Integral Shadow Board as voice for the business helping to provide recommendations and feedback to senior leadership to help make Integral an even better place to work. Other responsibilities I have taken on include becoming a Mental Health First Aider, First Aider and Fire Marshall for the office.

How did you get into the industry / what attracted you to the industry?

I got into industry through completing a level 1 customer service course and then swiftly moved into front of house roles. I initially wanted to go into housekeeping due to confidence and shyness but my manager at the time offered me a position on front of house.

How long have you been with Integral?

I have been with Integral just over 2 years. I have enjoyed every moment, every challenge and am looking forward to what else I can get involved in, in the coming years.

Did you have any training or qualifications prior to starting the apprenticeship that are relevant to your role?

I have my Level 1 Customer Service, Level 1 Business Admin and a broad knowledge of different reception procedures, processes and technology like booking systems, telephone systems etc.

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

My role has expanded across various platforms including engineering admin, property, health and safety, and finance. I love my role within the business, the meet and greet and dealing with queries. I love even more so the variety within my role now and the expansion I have obtained through showing my hard work and skillset. I enjoy coming into work, not knowing what challenges I might face that day.

What do you think the benefits of the apprenticeship model are?

It creates an expansion of your current skill set, and improves knowledge by teaching new skills/behaviors that you can immediately put into practice in your role.

Many people assume apprenticeships are just for teenagers – how do you think it works for those who are older?

I think apprenticeships work well for older students as it builds further on existing knowledge, helps with progression paths, and enhances you as a person regarding confidence, self-esteem and self-belief.

What does your apprenticeship consist of and how long will it take?

My apprenticeship is an 18 month course. It consists of several modules including but not limited to Decision Making, Stakeholders, Planning & Organization, Project Management, and Behaviors. It then ends with a test, presentation and end point assessment.

How are you finding the course so far and the learning methods and support? How has it helped you in your day to day work?

I am loving my qualification, it has grown my confidence by showing me I am more capable of what I give myself credit for, it has enhanced my current skillset and it has given me the opportunity to portray these attributes in my day-to-day job, which has resulted in managing extra workload and taking on more duties to help me progress further within the company.

Has anything surprised you?

It has surprised me how much more in depth the qualification is compared to Level 2. It has also surprised me again, how much confidence it has given me in my day to day working life.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

I am at the starting point of my career, however I am hoping my hard work over the last two years, extended understanding of the company as a whole, and the new skills I am learning will stand me in good stead. I aim to progress into a supervisory position within my current team, with more involvement within my office environment, and the admin functions needed within the engineering sector.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

I would say go for it! Take the opportunity with both hands, and really immerse yourself within it. No one is ever too old to learn and improve themselves.

Ben Moreton

As part of my apprenticeship, I had the opportunity to get involved with new & innovative technologies that are starting to make their way into building management, using analytical platforms, extremely efficient motors, wireless sensor tech etc. As I move forward in my career I’ll be able to help push for the investment and implementation of technology to help reduce our carbon footprint.

Ben's story
Ben Moreton
Level 3 Electrical apprentice
In future I’ll help push for investment and implementation of technologies to help reduce our carbon footprint.

Where do you work now?

I’m an Apprentice Engineer, currently working on a contract for a large global online retailer.

 

When I left school I?

I went to university, to study Human Sciences.

 

What was your first job?

When I turned 16 I got a job washing pots & pans for a local restaurant.

 

How did you get into the industry?

I was working as a Chef at the time, my father recommended for me to get a trade, I took his advice & got an apprenticeship with a local electrical firm, then I eventually joined Integral.

 

How long have you been with Integral?

At the time of writing, about 2 ½ years.

 

Did you have any training or qualifications prior to starting the apprenticeship that are relevant to your role?

No

 

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about science & technology and I like solving puzzles. I’m motivated by challenging problems that require me to dedicate time to learning about new systems and technology, to help solve an issue.

 

What do you think the benefits of the apprenticeship model are?

It allows you to develop both theoretical & practical skill, and apply it to a real working environment.

 

Many people assume apprenticeships are just for teenagers – how do you think it works for those who are older?

It’s a misconception, older apprentices turn up to college & work just the same as a teenager.

 

What does your apprenticeship consist of and how long will it take?

My apprenticeship is an NVQ level 3 in Electrotechnical Engineering, it consists mainly of college based theoretical learning & site based practical work and takes approximately 3 years.

 

How are you finding the course so far and the learning methods and support? How has it helped you in your day to work?

The course is fine, there are always areas to improve on with colleges etc. but overall, it’s been okay, the theoretical knowledge has helped me overcome a lot of on-site issues.

 

Has anything surprised you?

What surprised me the most about my apprenticeship was how many “older” apprentices like myself, are on the same course as me.

 

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

I aspire to be a future leader within the company, but right now I’m focused on just finishing up with my apprenticeship and going onto shift. In time I will look to move into a supervisory role, then management, upper management and so on.

For part of my apprenticeship I had the opportunity to get involved with new & innovative technologies that are starting to make their way into building management, using analytical platforms, extremely efficient motors, wireless sensor tech etc. I witnessed first-hand the quantitative data that shows significant energy savings on the sites where they were implemented. Technology like this is extremely important for both the business and humanity, we all have a responsibility to do our best to care for our planet & ensure the survival of not just our species, but the millions of other species of animal & plants that live on Earth.

Being exposed to what is possible with current & future tech means that as I move forward in my career I’ll be able to help push for the investment and implementation of technology to help reduce our carbon footprint.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

Do it, someone is willing to invest in you, in return you must show up to class, do your course-work and try your best on site, if you do this you’ll end up with a lifelong career, & with a large / global company like ours, you’ll have endless possibilities to progress. In my opinion, it’s a no brainer!

Rob Salmon

My college course takes around 4 years. The first year was a mixture of practical and theory electrical modules. Then a series of mostly electrical City and Guilds units which have a short answer exam and practical assessment, plus health and safety and engineering principles units. My prior Integral admin and helpdesk experience has also helped me to understand the business as a whole.

Rob's Story
Rob Salmon
Level 3 Extended NVQ Diploma in Engineering Maintenance
"Being paid to learn while you work is great and I get to work with some very knowledgeable engineers, who have years of experience in various trades. This combined with my college course means I’ve learnt a lot."

Where do you work now / my current job is:

Engineering East/Electrical Maintenance Apprentice.

When I left school I…?

Had a chance to do an electrical apprenticeship, but studied photography at college instead.

What was your first job?

Working in a call centre doing telephone surveys on evenings.

What role or roles have you held?

I’ve worked a variety of office jobs in call centres, and another engineering company. For Integral I’ve worked on the helpdesk, and as an administrator inputting timesheets and billing works.

How did you get into the industry / what attracted you to the industry?

I’m originally from East Yorkshire and had moved down to Cambridgeshire in 2013. At the time I had applied for a variety of apprenticeships but never heard anything back. In the meantime I got a job at Integral working on the helpdesk and while I was in that role, I spoke with one of the contact managers as I thought maintenance was something I would be capable of doing. This led onto asking the branch manager at the time, if he would consider me for an apprenticeship. After going out with a few engineers to see what it was like, I decided it was something I definitely wanted to do, finally about a year later Integral gave me that chance and I , and I started my course.

How long have you been with Integral?

In March I’ll have been with Integral for 5 years.

Did you have any training or qualifications prior to starting the apprenticeship that are relevant to your role?

None of my prior training or qualifications were relevant to my apprenticeship. However my experiences from working on the helpdesk and in admin have helped me to see things from a different perspective and understand the business as a whole.

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

I enjoy going new places and also jobs which make you have to think a bit more than usual. I think these are the sort of jobs you learn a lot from.

What do you think the benefits of the apprenticeship model are?

Being paid to learn while you work is great and I get to work with some very knowledgeable engineers, who have years of experience in various trades. This combined with my college course means I’ve learnt a lot over the last few years.

Many people assume apprenticeships are just for teenagers – how do you think it works for those who are older?

Apprenticeships can be ideal for older people. The problem for older people is getting an apprenticeship, as most companies only want to employ younger apprentices. I think this may be due to the fact they can pay them much less.

What does your apprenticeship consist of and how long will it take?

My college course takes around 4 years. The first year was a mixture of practical and theory electrical modules. The 3 years after that are based around a series of City and Guilds units which have a short answer exam and practical assessment. These are mostly electrical, but I also had to complete a health and safety unit. And there will be an engineering principles unit to complete in the future. I also have to put together various job write ups based on different units which include fault finding, maintaining HVAC equipment, maintaining fresh water systems, PPMs and health and safety.

How are you finding the course so far and the learning methods and support? How has it helped you in your day to work?

I have enjoyed the course so far. It was strange going back to education after so long away from it. But I soon got used to it. It’s a small college so the support is great, all the students get to spend a good amount of time with the lecturers. Class sizes are small, so I have still been attending in person until Jan 2021 when the latest lockdown meant classes had to move online to Zoom. This has been a strange way to work, but at least it means we can still carry on with the course.

Has anything surprised you?

The COVID pandemic was a big surprise. I was furloughed for 6 months from the first lockdown. Thankfully I’ve been back at work since September.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

I’d like to further my electrical knowledge, and possibly move into controls engineering.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

Go for it!

Shirin Easson

I really enjoy my course and it helps that my tutor can be flexible to fit in with work, plus I know I can always email or call for assistance. I have been able to develop my skills while still performing my job. I have gained insight into how to communicate effectively, make considered and informed decisions. I hope to move onto the company’s internal management development training program, with a view to becoming a Contract Manager.

Shirin's Story
Shirin Easson
Contract Support
“Apprenticeships give you confidence that the company has seen potential and wants to invest and grow with you.”

Where do you work now?

My current job is as the Contract Support on the Wells Fargo Account

When I left school I… wanted to work in the music industry as I am a semi-pro classical musician

What was your first job?

Organising a music festival in Scotland

What role or roles have you held?

Event organiser, Freelance Stage Manager, Office Assistant, Helpdesk, PPM coordinator, Contract Support

How did you get into the industry / what attracted you to the industry?

A few years ago, I was made redundant from a contemporary music publisher but part of my job was to look after tenants and I loved helping arrange floor renovations etc so decided to undertake temporary work in FM whilst I looked for a permanent role. The rest is history…

How long have you been with Integral?

My 1st stint around 7 months and my 2nd stint I’m coming up to 2 years

Did you have any training or qualifications prior to starting the apprenticeship that are relevant to your role?

I have a Music Management & Live Production Business Degree and before returning to Integral I wanted to enhance my understanding of FM and so self-funded some courses to do this including IOSH Managing Safely, COSHH Awareness, Fire Warden, Legionella & Legionnaires Disease Awareness, Manual Handling Awareness, Working at Height and Asbestos Awareness (Cat A). All of these have helped me through my apprenticeship to date as I am able to draw on experience, knowledge, skills, and theories to be able to deliver a first-class service to my studies and the contract .

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

I am very fortunate that on site we have a ‘One Team, Team’ mentality. My desk is on a client site and we sit with the FM team and other service leads. We all take time to chat and socialize inside and outside of work and during this pandemic it is these interactions that I have missed. I enjoy being able to make a difference which benefits all. Every day is different, some can be tough, whilst others a little less taxing, this unpredictability keeps me engaged. A happy team is a productive team, and this is something I like to promote and encourage. Sometimes a very small token or gesture of appreciation goes a long way and I love being able to celebrate, share and be on hand for the team.

What do you think the benefits of the apprenticeship model are?

I think it enables one to grow as a person, whilst giving confidence that the company has seen potential and that they want to invest and grow with you.

Many people assume apprenticeships are just for teenagers – how do you think it works for those who are older?

The apprenticeship I am on has allowed me the time to develop whilst still being able to undertake my job. This is something I wanted to do so I am more invested, it is not just a tick-box exercise but should help me to progress my career. I am more dedicated to wanting to understand and learn and am gaining the tools to be able to do this.

What does your apprenticeship consist of and how long will it take?

I meet with my tutor once a month and it is a twelve-month course. When I don’t meet with my tutor, I have access to a portal where work is set every month. The work set is in the form of videos, presentations, handouts etc and there are activities to complete. Every so often I prepare a project and due to the pandemic, I present this to my tutor via Teams.

How are you finding the course so far and the learning methods and support? How has it helped you in your day to work? 

I really enjoy my course and it helps that my tutor can be flexible to fit in with my job, only last month I had to rearrange at the last minute due to a client meeting being added to my diary. My tutor is very helpful and supportive and if I do get stuck or have a question, I know I can always email or call for assiatcnace. It has been different to undertake remote study; however, technology has enabled this to proceed. I think the course has given insight into how to communicate effectively and day to day I try to incorporate this. I am more aware of the impact I can have on others and objectively take time where needed to make considered and informed decisions.

Has anything surprised you?

How quickly to date time has passed. I’m in month 7 and yet it only feels like yesterday I started.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

I am lucky that there have already been discussions around next steps for me, and I believe the next step will be the company’s internal management and development training program with a view to becoming a Contract Manager.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

Investigate and sit down with your manager to discuss options available and the best start date. Demands on time can always be difficult, but this is an opportunity that can further your aspirations, go for it!

Mark Richings

Prior to this I only had my A/C Refrigeration NVQ and experience gained from 13 years on the job. This been very helpful in my daily work, enabling me to deliver an improved service to our clients. Integral really do invest in their staff. Three years ago I was an engineer, since then I’ve had promotions and now have a degree behind me. So, if you want to learn a new skill or course then go for it!

Mark's Story
Mark Richings
Contract Delivery Manager
“Completing a degree standard qualification 21 years after leaving school was fantastic. It shows you can progress and develop no matter what age you are.”

Where do you work now?

My current job is Contract Delivery Manager in the Private Sector.

When I left school…. I Joined a company called MacWhirter Air Conditioning where I completed my NVQ Level 2 in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration.

What was your first job? Paper Boy

What role or roles have you held?

At Integral I have moved from A/C engineer, to Regional Supervisor, to Contract Manager and following the restructure to Contract Delivery Manager.

How did you get into the industry / what attracted you to the industry?

When I left school, I decided to learn a trade, my next-door neighbour asked at his work and I started the next week as an Air Conditioning apprentice. After a few years of working solely for an A/C Company I moved to an FM company and this is where I have stayed since.

How long have you been with Integral?  13 years this year.

Did you have any training or qualifications prior to starting the apprenticeship that are relevant to your role?

Only my A/C Refrigeration NVQ and the experience gained over my time with Integral. A lot of knowledge was gained on the job and from learning from others.

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

Working on the Bright Horizons Nurseries contract and having a child in nursery myself gives me a high understanding of the client’s requirements. I do all I can to deliver for my client, knowing that other parent’s pride and joy are in these buildings gives me the desire to ensure I do all I can to keep these buildings safe and comfortable for the children.

What do you think the benefits of the apprenticeship model are?

The benefits of the apprenticeship model are quite simply the chance to progress and develop no matter what age you are or where you are in your career.

Many people assume apprenticeships are just for teenagers – how do you think it works for those who are older?

Completing a degree standard qualification 21 years after leaving school was fantastic for me. It shows that you can progress and develop no matter what age you are. The apprenticeship can work around your work and family commitments to ensure minimal stress for you and that the course is completed on time.

What does your apprenticeships consist of and how long will it take?

My apprenticeship was around 18 months long. It consisted of bi – monthly workshops with other colleagues studying the qualification and monthly 1-1 meetings with a dedicated tutor. The business supported my learning and gave me adequate time to study during the working week which enabled me to stay on top of any coursework.

How did you find the course and how has it helped in your day to day work?

The course was challenging but well worth it. With the support of my tutor and the business I was able to complete the course on time. The course content has been very helpful in my day to day work, especially with building relationships with clients and colleagues throughout the business. The skills learnt will enable me to develop and deliver an improved service to our clients.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

The qualification will enable me to grow and develop within the business. I’m always looking to improve, and personal development is high on my list of goals. This qualification will hopefully leave me in good stead for any future promotions that come about at Integral.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

I would say ‘just go for it’ you are never too young to try and better yourself. Being at a company like Integral / JLL you know you have the support to grow and they really do invest in their staff. Three years ago, I was an engineer and although I was happy with this, I felt I wanted more. Three years later I’ve had a couple of promotions and now have a degree behind me.

Blake Hjelmstrand

Anybody can learn as long as they have the desire to better themselves. It has been challenging at times, but the course has continued remotely without delay. The support of the Development Coach is key and I have a good rapport with mine which ensures I can deliver the assessment pieces. I have aspirations for upper management and beyond and the ILM Level 5 apprenticeship will give me this opportunity.

Blake's Story
Blake Hjelmstrand
Contract Delivery Manager
“Apprenticeships allow expansion of skill set and an opportunity to translate real world management scenarios into the workplace and vice versa.”

Where do you work now?  My current job is on the Greater & Royal London portfolios – Contract Delivery Manager

When I left school I… worked odd jobs and tried different course work.

What was your first job? McDonald’s kitchen hand

What role or roles have you held?

In the UK, Mobile Engineer to Portfolio Supervisor to now my current role.

How did you get into the industry / what attracted you to the industry?

I did my electrical apprenticeship in Australia initially, a lot of my school friends had moved into this trade which made it appealing to pursue at that time.

How long have you been with Integral?     4 years in May.

Did you have any training or qualifications prior to starting the apprenticeship that are relevant to your role?      IOSHH

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

I like to see problems solved, knots untied and I also want to see those under my direction succeed and be recognized for it.

What do you think the benefits of the apprenticeship model are?

It allows expansion of skill set and an opportunity to translate real world management scenarios into the work place and vice versa.

Many people assume apprenticeships are just for teenagers – how do you think it works for those who are older?

This stereotype is misleading as anybody can learn at any age as long as they have the desire.

What does your apprenticeship consist of and how long will it take?

ILM Level 5 Operational Management over the course of 1.5 years approximately.

How are you finding the course so far and the learning methods and support? How has it helped you in your day to work?

It has been challenging at times, especially with my day job which is very demanding. The support of the Development Coach is key and I have a good rapport with mine which allows a good line of communication that ensures I can deliver the assessment pieces.

Has anything surprised you?

The course has continued without delay, albeit remotely, despite the ongoing pandemic.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

I have aspirations for upper management and beyond and the exercises, assessments and models that are taught and learnt about during the ILM Level 5 catered for this further advancement.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

If you have a definite career aim and purpose and desire to better yourself, which will likely take up your free time in the interim, then you should be considering any opportunities afforded to you such as an apprenticeship.

Vince Palmer

I soon got to grips with the course and the workshops were always good, but when Covid hit, everything moved online. Your Development coach is very supportive and there are great learning tools. You do need to give up some of you own time, but with patience and hard work it is well worth it and a massive achievement. I would now like to take the next step in my career as an Accounts or Operations Manager.

Vince's Story
Vince Palmer
Contract Delivery Manager
“It has helped tie my existing knowledge and experience together and will hopefully help me take the next career step as an Accounts or Operations Manager.”

Where do you work now?

My current job is Contract delivery manager JLL Managed Service’s (PAM Contract)

When I left school I… had 2 jobs to choose from National Westminster Bank in their Stocks and Shares department and becoming an Apprentice electrician. I listened to my brother for some reason and became an electrician.

What was your first job?

Helping my Mum and dad on their Fruit and veg shop unpaid, 1st paid job paper round (Bristol Evening Post).

What role or roles have you held?

Roles with Integral Contract Manager and Contract Delivery Manager

How did you get into the industry / what attracted you to the industry?

My brother was an engineer and he guided me to become an electrician, he said once you have a trade no one can take it away from you and its always there to full back on.

How long have you been with Integral?    4 Years in February 2021

Did you have any training or qualifications prior to starting the apprenticeship that are relevant to your role?

I had completed one day basis leadership courses with my previous employer but nothing as complex as the Level 5.

How does your role/work get you fired up? What do you enjoy about it– what are you passionate about?

Being able to do a good job for my client, this isn’t always possible which is frustrating but that’s life, not everything is straight forward. What am I passionate about, besides my wife and family, doing my job to the best of my ability and giving 100% all of the time.

What do you think the benefits of the apprenticeship model are?

Great learning tools, it helped me tie my existing knowledge and experience together and will hopefully aid in future promotions.

Many people assume apprenticeships are just for teenagers – how do you think it works for those who are older?

This really depends on the person, whilst we were given time within our working week to help complete, you do need to give up some of you own time. Some people struggle with this and the motivation as you get older, take nothing away learning as you get older is harder in my opinion but it really is down to how much you want the qualification how well it works for you.

How long did your apprenticeship take?

The apprenticeship I have just completed consisted of workshops, online learning, research, plenty of reading and writing, professional discussions and yes EXAMS, I completed it over a 20 month period but can be completed in 18 months.

How did you find the course so far and the learning methods and support? How has it helped you in your day to work?

I am very much a Kina esthetic learner (Hands On) so whilst at the beginning I did struggle with all the new material, I soon got to grips with the course and the workshops were always great. When COVID hit us, everything went online, this element I personally struggled with, but I know others found it perfect. Support was great, you get your own Development coach and they are always there for you.

Has anything surprised you?

The thing that really surprised me was the amount of different leadership styles, you never heard them spoken about outside of the class by their name, but the theory is there in how something is delivered.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

Now having completed the apprenticeship and with my relevant experience I would now like to take the next step in my career as an accounts Manager or Operations Manager.

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?

DO IT, whilst they will take lots of your time, patience and hard work, they are well worth and a massive achievement.

Pelham Smith

I have lots of highly experienced colleagues to learn from and each day brings new challenges. I enjoy being a mobile engineer, but have recently benefited from spending time at one of our static sites, which has allowed me to work on multiple client projects and gain lots of experience. I look forward to achieving my ambition and continuing with Integral as a fully qualified electrician.

Pelham's Story
Pelham Smith
Apprentice Electrician
“I had previously gained most of the theory, but my Integral apprenticeship has given me amazing opportunities to gain the hands-on experience I lacked.”

Where do you work now/ currently?

I am an Apprentice Electrician working with the mobile engineering fleet.

When I left school

I continued into college studying a range of science-based A levels.

What was your first job?

Worked for Safeways within the fresh department

What roles have you held?

Retail supervisor and store manager/ hospitality supervisor apprentice/apprentice electrician.

How did you get into the industry/ what attracted to the industry?

While at college I began working in the retail sector and enjoyed the environments. However eventually I found that the wage for the intensity and uneven work balance was too much, so looked for a change. With science-based education I decided electrician was the trade for me and swapped my role to allow myself freedom to study as I found the potential year one apprentice wage unmanageable and daunting. While studying I continued to look for an apprenticeship, registering on JTL’s website. Shortly after, Integral approached me for an interview which turned into a job offer with a decent initial wage. I quickly accepted and have enjoyed everything since, as I have lots of highly experienced colleagues to gain knowledge from and each day brings new challenges with fault diagnostics and rectification.

How long have you worked for Integral?  

Currently 15 months into my 2 year contract.

Did you have any prior training? 

Prior to finding a role, I had worked hard to gain the majority of my classroom and exam-based electrician qualifications, but lacked hands on experience. I have also found my background in retail a huge advantage as a lot of our clients have customer facing businesses so understanding their requirements and the importance of good communication, helps me deliver first-class customer service.

How does your role/ work get you fired up? What do you enjoy what are you passionate about?

I enjoy problem solving and have found maintenance has no shortage of new challenges solve. I also get to meet lots of new faces throughout my week alongside building a good rapport with clients during regular maintenance checks. Plus being on the doorstep of the New Forest, I get to see lots of beautiful towns and scenery on my travel throughout the day.

Has anything surprised you?

How much faith Integral put into their apprentices and how they take on board ideas. For example, during the first lockdown, the company had regular web-based meetings with the furloughed workforce and encouraged questions and suggestions from all levels. One idea I raised was quickly picked up by the managing director, Yash Kapila, who quickly set up a team to explore the idea and how best to integrate parts of it within our service, which I was really proud of.

Once the first lockdown ended I was then anticipating an extended period on furlough, but I was pleasantly surprised as my Line Manager had organised my time to be spent at one of our static sites which has been hugely beneficial for me. The client has decided to seize the moment while staff work from home to undertake multiple projects across their site, giving me a vast amount of hands-on experience. It also meant that I could complete the knowledge-based demonstration module of my course during a tutor visit.

What are your career ambitions/aspirations -how do you hope this apprenticeship will help you ‘build the future’ for yourself and Integral?

I am looking forward to achieving my ambition and continuing in the future with Integral as a fully qualified electrician.

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We have always been passionate about apprenticeships and their benefits. Apprentices are not only supporting our teams in delivering better outcomes for our business, but are also building their knowledge and our future, by bringing a fresh set of eyes and often challenging us to look at better ways of working.

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