Training as a surveyor, Suzanna Lovell’s career path is a shining example of the number of opportunities that are available for apprentices. About to embark on the Ealing Council’s first apprenticeship degree, Suzanna’s journey has come full circle.
“I decided to do an apprenticeship because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do career-wise after I finished A-levels and I knew at that time university wasn’t the right option for me,” said Suzanna (pictured above during a home visit as part of the council’s repairs and adaptations team). “So, I looked around at different options and I came across Ealing Council’s apprenticeship programme and thought I would give it a go.
“I liked what an apprenticeship had to offer and being able to work and study at the same time seemed like the best idea and like a stepping stone to maybe give me an idea career wise of what I wanted to do and then I applied for the job and, luckily, I got it.”
‘Not only do you have the experience but you have the knowledge as well’
Joining the council’s apprenticeship scheme five years ago, Suzanna initially worked in a business support role with the repairs and adaptations team. The team works with older people and those needing extra support to help adapt their homes so that they can safely live independently at home for longer.
Suzanna’s interests led her to in working more directly with residents and she moved in to a health and social care apprenticeship working closely with occupational therapists providing one-on-one support to assess people’s requirements before finding her feet in a construction role delivering the required repairs and adaptations to people’s homes.
“As a trainee surveyor I now go out with the surveyors, do drawings and write up the work required, working with contractors to carry out adaptations,” explained Suzanna. “Throughout my apprenticeship I have been given the opportunity to take on and develop different roles and decide what I actually wanted to do.
“And for each role I have got a qualification for it, so not only do you have the experience but you have the knowledge as well.”
‘An apprenticeship gives you options’
Reflecting on her progress Suzanna said: “It is weird because I had no knowledge of surveying or anything like that before I came to the council and now I think this is what want to do.
“I think even the fact that I am now going on to university is bit of a shock because if you asked me prior to the apprenticeship there is no way I would have thought I would be able to achieve a qualification at degree level and now that has changed.
“I would recommend an apprenticeship because it gives you options. It can be for anyone and it is a good stepping stone, giving you the experience of work life as well as studying. You also have the support and guidance to help you through it and ensure you can do your best.”
Are you interested in becoming an apprentice?
The council apprenticeship scheme recruits 25 people each year. Apprentice placements are open to anyone more than 16 years of age and not in full-time education, including those who have recently left school, have been working for years, or even seeking a career change.