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Redrow apprentice encourages students to follow their passion

22nd March 2024
Redrow News - Redrow apprentice encourages students to follow their passion

Callum McGowan struggled through secondary school and knew pursuing further education wasn’t for him and with the current cost of living crisis, being bogged down by university debt further cemented his stance on his future.

Whilst considering following his family’s footsteps into brick laying, he quickly realised he didn’t enjoy the regimented and repetitive nature of the job. Faced with trying to decide what to do with his career, Callum found our apprenticeship programme.

He was intrigued by the commercial side of construction and landed an apprenticeship in quantity surveying.

Callum, who felt that the traditional education path didn’t suit him, explains why an apprenticeship was the best route for him: “I was horrible at the academic side of school, I really didn’t like going. An apprenticeship suited me as it’s a lot more practical and I get to work towards a qualification while also earning an income. While there is still an element of education in an apprenticeship, I’m able to gain hands on experience which I’ve always felt will be valued far more later in life. I always look at students and think if I was hiring, I’d much rather meet someone who has worked in the industry and built-up experience than someone who has sat in a classroom and learned theory but in actuality has very little knowledge of what the job entails.”

 Callum started his apprenticeship at our North West London development, Colindale Gardens.

He describes his experience working on such a unique site: “Once I had made the decision to go into construction, I really had to think about what elements I’d enjoy, and which would suit my personality. On such a large-scale development there are so many different roles available but while I knew brick laying wasn’t for me, I also knew a 9 to 5 desk job wouldn’t make me happy in the long term. I really wanted to get stuck into something that I’d be happy doing tomorrow but also in 45 years’ time. Quantity surveying offers me that. No day is the same and I get to be out of the office and working with multiple members of the team daily. I enjoy the playing a crucial role in the project and it’s a new challenge every day that is never straight forward.”

For anyone considering the choice between university and an apprenticeship, Callum shares his advice: “You should do a lot of research before deciding, but I would recommend doing an apprenticeship over university, it helped me become a lot more organised and familiar in dealing with new challenges while gaining vital experience. My managers have been an amazing support system and are always available for any questions or just to have a quick chat, which is a lot more difficult when you’re in a university class of 60. It is also becoming a lot more common for employers to hire apprentices as they value the experience that we have over university students.”

For more information about apprenticeships available across Redrow, please visit our careers page.

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