Erin Ruddy, 20, is a civil engineer who was recognised at the College BIG Awards as the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation Apprentice of the Year
I enrolled on the level 3 transport planning technician apprenticeship after coming across the course online. I had completed GCSEs and was six months into my A-levels when I realised they weren’t for me. I started researching apprenticeships after some friends had taken that route and came across transport planning.
It’s quite niche and not something people necessarily know much about. It stood out as an area with interesting options and excellent development opportunities.
I started an apprenticeship at Capita and haven’t looked back.
Assessors came to the workplace every three months or so to guide me with my e-portfolio and evidence-based online profile. They would offer advice on how to meet the learning objectives of the apprenticeship. My employer also had a block-release agreement so every three months, I’d travel to the college for two weeks of tuition.
I’m quite an organised person, so I managed my time quite well. Before a college block, I’d contact my tutors to get reading materials in advance and prep for assignments. I usually completed any college work during that block period, so I didn’t struggle to manage the education and hands-on elements of the apprenticeship.
I finished college last March and got my certificates a few months later. After that, I took up a new role at Arup as I enjoyed the highways and civil design side of things, so I wanted to progress in that area.
The apprenticeship has definitely been beneficial. There are lots of perks. You get paid, learn on the job, and get a rounder perspective of how to develop in industry. Recently, I sat my EngTech assessment, which is the start of chartership. The course combines EngTech with the apprenticeship to lay out a pathway that leads to a profession and not just a job. If it wasn’t for the apprenticeship, I don’t know what I’d be doing now.
To find out about apprenticeship training at Leeds College of Building, visit lcb.ac.uk