National Highways: Hattie George

Hattie celebrates huge impacts and achievements made as an apprentice at National Highways

Hattie George is a project management IT apprentice at National Highways 

My journey into adulthood has been a whirlwind of uncertainty, challenges and learning opportunities. However, taking an apprenticeship at National Highways was the best future career move I ever made. After leaving sixth form I had no idea what I wanted to do, all my friends were attending university and I felt pressured as I didn’t have the same interests. I didn’t want to get into debt studying something I wasn’t sure about, so why not get paid to learn about the working industry and try something new? After tirelessly searching through, I finally found a IT project management placement at National Highways. Having no idea what “project management” was other than being bossy and organised—which is two skills I excel in—I took a shot in the dark and made my first step into the professional working world.

I won’t lie, the beginning was extremely tough for me: being only 18 and fresh out of school, I’d gone from the oldest to one of the youngest in my cohort and was scared that I’d struggle to fit in with others. Equally, I knew nothing about project management and everybody else seemed to have some prior experience or interest in their chosen apprenticeship. But after my induction I found so many other people who were just like me. I made so many friends on my first day, which proved to be useful contacts in my future career, and they were just like me! It’s these bonds that really helped me to strive for excellence within my apprenticeship.

Six months later and I’ve never felt more confident in myself and my abilities as a working woman. I’ve made huge impacts on the company and my own career: gaining volunteering experience to help the younger generation with apprenticeships; gaining only distinctions and merits in every portfolio submission I’ve turned in; helping to support a project go live that’ll help to improve the IT experience within National Highways forever; achieving the apprentice of the year award from my external education BPP; becoming a mental health first aider; becoming the regional representative for the West Midlands Graduate and Apprentice Network (GAN) and so much more! 

My list of achievements feels infinite and that’s all because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to make a positive change for my future. National Highways is so caring and supportive towards their apprentices and graduates, providing so many development opportunities and expanding on your future career. Even as a woman who’s part of the LGBT+ community, I’m accepted with open arms in National Highways and my chances to succeed aren’t hindered because of my identity—they’re only hindered if you don’t try.

Anybody can succeed and become who they want to in life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my National Highways apprenticeship. 


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