Yehya Hawila, a Career Ready graduate from Paddington Academy in London, shares how his time on the programme and an internship at Costain & Skanska helped him develop the skills and confidence needed to start a successful future.
Before I started the Career Ready programme, I wasn't confident at all about what I wanted to do in the future and - to be honest - I simply didn't have many of the skills which I now know are crucial for success
Career Ready helped me to find an ambition and, through the programme, I was able to secure a joint-venture internship between Costain and Skanska which was fantastic.
My time at Costain Skanska gave me the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the world of work, the challenges you face and how it differs to school. During my time at Costain Skanska, I really developed my organisational skills, especially when it came to prioritising important work and structuring my day. It also gave me the chance to network and learn from people who already have successful careers in the construction industry.
After my internship, Costain offered me a place on their funded degree apprenticeship programme.
Apprenticeships used to have a negative stereotype, especially compared to university, but that really shouldn’t be the case anymore. In my case, it wasn’t a difficult decision at all to choose between offers from universities and the option of an apprenticeship with no debt, four years of experience, a Chartership, and a guaranteed job.
Apprenticeship programmes really are the business for developing your future career. Indeed, I’ve met many directors who have been through the apprenticeship route.
I’ve now been working at Costain for just over 18-months and it’s been great so far. I spend the majority of my time working on Crossrail – the biggest infrastructure project in Europe – where I manage and administrate several subcontractors at the C405 Paddington.
Working full-time and studying at the same time does require sacrifices and there are times when I do need to choose to study over my social life, but it’s worth it for how much my career is progressing.