5th July 2018
In the second of our series of interviews with Kimpton apprentices we meet Chris Colville. Chris is aged 19 and lives with parents in Bebington. He’s just finishing the second year of his apprenticeship, so in Kimpton terms, is relatively new to the business.
I asked Chris how he came to join Kimptons.
“ I was at South Wirral in the Sixth Form studying for my A Levels and Kimptons were advertising in the school, looking for apprentices. I was always interested in engineering, so I applied and was lucky enough to get the job. I’d always wanted to take the apprenticeship route as University, and the thought of leaving £50,000 in debt, didn’t really appeal to me.
To be honest, when I came to have a look around, I was quite surprised how big a business they were. I’d heard of them through their work with the Young Chamber events that I attended and they had a great reputation for the way they progress apprentices.”
So how has your role progressed?
“I initially did a year in the office to get a feel for how it worked and then last year started a day release BTEC in Building Services and Engineering. I go to college every Wednesday and it’s great. They are a very smart bunch on the course. Some have come from being on the tools and others were office based, but everything we learn there is very relatable and it allows us to work together to progress.
To be honest it was a huge wake up call – in a good way – starting work full-time, but that would have been the same in any job. Education teaches you a lot but it doesn’t fully prepare you for work. The apprenticeship system and the work/study balance definitely does.”
So where next?
“I have three more years of college and then I’ll be fully qualified. I’m starting to work on more and more live projects and it’s a real buzz when we win a contract that I’ve priced.
Longer term, I see myself progressing to Project Engineering like Chris Tolley has done and then hopefully beyond and onto the board.
If I’m honest, I’m a local lad and I’d love to work on the Wirral Waters project. With £5bn coming into the redevelopment of Wirral, it would be my dream come true if I could play some part in delivering that”
So how would you summarise your experience so far as an apprentice?
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“I honestly can’t see a better way to develop. You’re getting real experience in the workplace and really great training at college. It’s ideal in that you can earn whilst you learn, rather than being massively in debt. In a few years, I certainly won’t be behind a graduate coming into the role as I will have bags more relevant experience as well as the qualification to back it up. I’d recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is prepared to continue to learn and work hard to progress”
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