Recruited via EN:Able Futures award-winning Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Servcice, Dan Vokes, aged 20 has just completed his first month on site as Trainee Site Manager within Esh’s affordable housing division.
Working on the 105-home Beech Hill development in Halifax, as well as the 82-home Pemberton Road project in Castleford, we caught up with him to discuss why he wanted to get into construction and how he is finding life on site so far.
What is your background before you secured the apprenticeship?
I previously attended college for two year where I studied sport and science with a view to applying for a degree in physiotherapy. I secured a place at Bradford University and in the holiday’s, I started labouring on the sites, which I realised I enjoyed. I arranged some work experience as a physiotherapist as well, but found I enjoyed working in construction more.
I deferred my university offer to continue labouring on a building site in Leeds, then I found myself working for a landscaping company ‘on the tools’. I stayed in that job for two-and-a-half year where I learnt all manner of landscaping works, I could be doing anything from cutting grass and hedges, to installing a fence and turfing a lawn.
I worked close with the site management team and this gave me a good insight into the role, which caught my interest. I thought it was the right time to pursue a career as a site manager and I was put in contact with EN:Able Futures.
What apprenticeship will you complete?
I’m due to commence a Level 4 Site Supervisor qualification at Leeds College of Building study on a day release basis – four days on site then one day at college.
How are finding Esh and site management so far?
I’m really enjoying my time at Esh so far, I have worked across both Pemberton Road in Castleford and Beech Hill in Halifax and had great support from both teams. Everyone is really helpful and friendly and makes you feel like you’re a part of a team. I look forward to my future at Esh.
What are your future career goals?
I’d like to become an experienced site manager, running my own sites and then progress into project management.
What would you say to another young person who was considering a career in construction?
From school I’d never really had an insight into the construction industry, I didn’t get a real understanding of the different types of jobs in construction or showed the potential of a career in the industry. The focus was more about what I would study at college. However, my friends who secured apprenticeships seemed to be progressing quicker and gaining more life skills, as well as earning a wage whilst doing something they enjoyed. Working whilst learning is a great opportunity for a young person because it means you can apply in the workplace everything you learn at college – I decided this would be a better route for me.