Syeda Taslima Khanom, 28, opted for a project management apprenticeship at Highways England after deciding to change careers
I decided to make a career change from teaching into project management. They are not too dissimilar in terms of the skills and qualities required, but I was aware that I had specialised in science and I would need to retrain myself in this new field. I knew my strengths were in problem solving, planning and delivery. I also enjoyed working as a part of a team and I felt I had good interpersonal skills too, so project management was the ideal choice. I also wanted to continue working for the public sector, so after some searching, I found schemes available at Highways England.
Change can be daunting at first, but doing this apprenticeship has been an invaluable experience. I have had the opportunity to work as a part of a large programme, gain on the job experience, as well as work and study alongside other apprentices.
The highlights for me have been becoming a mental health first aider and having the opportunity to work with the wellbeing team to support colleagues throughout Highways England. I’ve benefited from great mentorship on the schemes I’ve worked and have been given opportunities to develop and grow my skills. I’ve also been able to attend conferences and workshops that focus on different project management techniques such as risk management and stakeholder collaboration. All of this has helped me to apply my learning straight away to real life situations.
The culture at Highways England, which focuses on safety, passion, teamwork, integrity and ownership, acts as a drive for me to perform well and deliver on projects. I would recommend this course to anyone, whatever stage in life you may be. If you want to learn, earn and train without debt, an apprenticeship is the sure way to go.
To find out more about apprenticeships at Highways England, visit careers.highwaysengland.co.uk