The New Generation of Construction: A Closer Look at Professional Apprenticeships

26th June 2024 | ,

In the ever-evolving landscape of the UK’s construction industry, professional apprenticeships stand out as a beacon of opportunity for the next generation of construction professional. These importantly provide a different route to full time university study and the economic barriers that can bring, combining a balance of theoretical learning and practical experience, equally resulting in a degree level qualification.

Many construction employers will have a preference for recruiting a professional apprenticeship candidate that they can then nurture and support through their studies as the experience they gain from this in many ways makes them a far greater asset to the business operations, than a candidate who has only experienced full-time education.

These training programs are not just routes to employment; they are essential to nurturing the next generation of skilled professionals who will shape the country’s infrastructure, providing an opportunity to gain hands-on experience, earn a wage, and acquire the technical knowledge required to thrive in this demanding field.

With this in mind we wanted to sit down with our professional apprentice, Jacob Hancock and learn a little more about his experience of the process and how he sees it shaping his future. This was no easy feat, Jacob is currently in his third and final year of studying for a Project Management Degree, at the University of the West of England, where upon completion he will be a Charted Project Manager with the CIOB.

On top of this he is working on behalf of John Perkins Construction (JCP) as Assistant Site Manager at our Harbourside Apartments project in central Bristol. He is busy to say the least, but we managed it.


So, what made you apply for a professional apprenticeship over going straight into the industry?

I chose a professional apprenticeship because I learn best through hands-on experience. Being on-site every day allows me to directly apply what I learn in real-time situations, which accelerates my understanding and skill development. It also provides immediate exposure to the industry and real-world challenges, making me job-ready more quickly than a traditional academic route. By the time I complete my apprenticeship, I will have several years of relevant work experience. It feels like the best of both worlds.


What has your experience with John Perkins Construction (JPC) and the professional apprenticeship been like so far?

My experience with JPC has been incredibly enriching. JPC have provided extensive hands-on training and ensured that I am involved in a variety of tasks, which has significantly broadened my skill set and responsibilities. From project planning to on-site management, I’ve had the opportunity to learn and contribute in meaningful ways, which has fed back real time into my degree work.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Fully qualified with many years of experience working alongside JPC as a Site Manager or Project Manager. I truly enjoy the job that I do and the ability to work and be exposed to reality of the industry, whilst studying, has only confirmed the fact that this is the career for me.


# What advice would you give someone thinking about an professional apprenticeship?

Although academic qualifications are important, the hands-on, real-world experience gained from working within the industry is incredibly valuable. Depending on your employer you may also earn a decent salary and get your University/ College fees covered. It has without a doubt been the right choice for me and I really encourage anyone serious about a career in construction to consider it.



As an industry it is our responsibility to support these initiatives that help to nurture the next generation of construction. For more information on how your company can take on a professional apprenticeship and help make a difference, visit the Government website.

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