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From work experience to full time job - Sam Lomas's story

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Investment stories, Youth employment

After leaving school at 16, I enrolled onto a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction at Chelmsford College.  During these two years I made many attempts to gain work experience but all fell through. Towards the end of my second year at college Denne Construction held a workshop with the students at my college and this is where my story with them starts.

Firstly, Mandy Oven, their Chelmsford Skills Co-ordinator and Nicholas Fowler, who is responsible for Denne’s Employer Ownership of Skills programme, came to college and conducted mock interviews. This included giving us feedback on our interview techniques and CVs. We all found this very helpful in our efforts to find jobs.

After this, a chosen few were given the opportunity to undertake work experience on Denne’s site in Chelmsford. I was given a choice of which department to work in, and chose the Quantity Surveyor team, as this was my preferred career path.

During this time, while I did make the tea sometimes, I also took part in a wide range of activities from technical drawings, to going on to sites to see how measuring works!  It was an invaluable insight into what the role involved.

In addition to this, I volunteered to join the Ambassador programme with Denne, which included preparing presentations and planning activities for a programme that Denne was involved in with Essex County Council. During this project, called “Play in the Park,”  I participated in 3 events with young people and become completely involved in this community inspired scheme.

At the end of the experience I was lucky enough to be offered a permanent job with Denne and they are funding my HNC in Construction Management at Chelmsford College.  I took up my role as Trainee Quantity Surveyor in August and haven’t looked back since.

This work experience was provided as part of an Employer Ownership Pilot scheme run by Denne, aiming to increase skills in the construction sector. UKCES invested £1,985,150 alongside an employer investment of £5,044,400. You can also watch a video case study of this project on our Youtube channel.

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