Life as an Apprentice at Patrick Parsons

This National Apprenticeship week we’re shining a light on the engineers of the future. Ben McHugh is an Apprentice within our Civils team in Ash Vale, he discusses life at Patrick Parsons and why he chose an apprenticeship over the traditional university route.

When did you join Patrick Parsons and what are you studying?

I started working for Patrick Parsons in August 2021 and I’m currently enrolled in a civils apprenticeship.

What is it about engineering that appealed to you?

I’ve always liked using CAD software for varying means, so when I found out this field of engineering tends to use it most of the time I started working my way towards career in it.

Why did you choose to study an apprenticeship, over other options?

I hate the idea of putting yourself into such ridiculous amounts of debt to earn a degree, when you can just earn one passively whilst working, gaining hands on experience and earning money.

Can you describe an average day as an apprentice at Patrick Parsons?

In the office I tend to just do AutoCAD drawings for people in the team that need, based on the priority of jobs. I have also had experience doing a few reports and other things on micro drainage.

What are the best things about working at Patrick Parsons?

Greggs on a Wednesday is certainly a nice touch to the day. Other than that, I quite like how ‘relaxed the office feels because of it being small with a closely knit team.

What skills are you looking forward to gaining?

I’d like to expand my knowledge of AutoCAD and perhaps other software that we use within the company.

What’s like working with your colleagues?

Because of working in one of the smaller offices, the relationship we have is personal compared to  that of a huge firm with thousands of people.

How long do you have left until your apprenticeship is complete? And do you know what you would like to do afterwards?

My university course spans 5 years and afterwards I’d like to continue expanding my knowledge of CAD software and perhaps take it to new fields.

What advice would you give to other students thinking about choosing to do apprenticeship?

Be completely sure it’s what you would like to do, because the courses will be extremely long with a degree of difficulty. Also make sure that the company you decide to do your apprenticeship with provides lots of learning resources for you to utilise.

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