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Blog: Laura Higgs – from Childcare to Building Care

08 Mar 2019, Posted by Heidi Salmons in Careers and employment

This week, we’re celebrating National Apprenticeship Week along with thousands of others – we’re proud to support new and current staff who want to gain additional skills and to help them further their careers. Apprenticeships are not only good for the individual, but also for the UK economy, our business and clients; everyone benefits if you have a workforce that has up-to-date knowledge, can evidence practical expertise and wants to continue learning.

While many people will think ‘college leaver’ when the word apprentice is mentioned, we support our staff at any point in their career, and thirty-one year old Laura Higgs is an example of someone who changed her career and was hungry to acquire knowledge. We caught up with Laura to hear about her story.

“My undergraduate degree and other qualifications are all in childcare, and I first worked in a nursery setting, but unfortunately I found it wasn’t right for me. I began work as a nanny, but the family also had a waste management business so I assisted with administration and finance tasks when I wasn’t looking after the children. As time went on, I found the family company work more interesting and, as I learned more about construction, a part of me relished the challenge of bringing something new to a male orientated industry. It’s fantastic to see that numbers of women in construction are rising and I hope I can inspire young women to take an interest in the range of construction careers available.

“I was so pleased to be offered an admin role at Winvic, five years ago. I enjoyed the work that much I expressed an interest in undertaking more technical and on-site work after just a few months so I moved to the design department to compile Operations and Maintenance Manuals. Last year I was promoted to the Building Manuals Manager where I have organically grown and managed a team of three, and I really want to take my career to the next level. I asked my manager whether I’d be able to undertake some courses or get a qualification more related to my role.    

“Winvic is such a supportive company and September 2018 saw me starting my Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Team Leading – it’s transformed the way I manage tasks, colleagues and myself and I won’t finish until August. Just a few things I’ve learnt are identifying key strengths, weaknesses and setting SMART goals, understanding different strategies for problem solving, and being more aware of unconscious bias. Having each Friday as a study day gives me time to learn, but it’s also an important time for me to reflect on the previous week’s output and consider how to productively and effectively my tasks in the week ahead. The time to learn, implement and evaluate my management skills in relation to management theories and my apprenticeship evidencing is invaluable, and it’s been really positive to pass on knowledge to my team in order to develop their roles and responsibilities.

“Undertaking an apprenticeship while at Winvic has improved my work – and me – without a doubt. In a nutshell I would say I’m better at problem solving in a fast paced environment, getting the best out of people and I’ve enjoyed developing as a person. I’m pretty certain I’ll decide to go on to Level 5, but my love for construction and learning has already developed and I have my sights set on Winvic’s advancements in BIM modelling. Getting involved in this area by working with subcontractor training is really exciting – I couldn’t have imagined this apprenticeship would lead to so many options.

Learn more about our apprenticeship opportunities, download our Joining The Winvic Team brochure or get in touch with Rebecca Schwarz in our HR department on rebeccaschwarz@winvic.co.uk or 01604 678 960 to take the first step towards your new career with Winvic.