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#NAW2024 – Meet our apprentices

Meet Jake.

Project Management Degree Apprentice

“A degree apprenticeship ticked all the boxes for me, and it was a no brainer when provided with the opportunity”

This National Apprenticeship Week we’re highlighting some of the apprentices working for us at the Shepley Group, helping us to build a legacy of excellence. Meet Jake McBride, a Project Management Degree Apprentice for Shepley Engineers. Learn more about what drove him to an apprenticeship, and what aspirations he has for his future career.

When did you join Shepley Engineers?

I joined Shepley in June of 2021. I was working for another organization in London when an opening became available on our Palace of Westminster Cast Iron Roof Refurbishment Project. The nature of the project was of extreme interest to me and I jumped at the opportunity!

What made you choose an apprenticeship?

Following the degree apprenticeship pathway provided me with a means for reaching my desired qualification, gaining key experience, and understanding Project Management as a profession all whilst earning an income. This ticked all the boxes for me, and it was a no brainer when provided with the opportunity.

What does a typical day in your job involve? 

Put simply, no two days are the same. Project Management is all about the management and control of endeavours in terms of cost, time, scope, quality and risk. The requirement to manage and control these rapidly changing environments demands a high degree of organization, awareness and time management, so my day is often scheduled out minute by minute.  My daily responsibilities culminate to ensure that the scope of works is being executed as expected, in line with our cost and time related objectives, whilst also ensuring that the agreed level of quality is achieved.

How would you describe your time as an apprentice?

Being a Shepley Engineers apprentice has been a great experience for me. I have so far been provided with all of the opportunities I require for my development as a project manager, whilst also being allowed the time away from my workplace to focus on my studies and the resulting completion of my degree apprenticeship course. I am stationed on my project in Edinburgh 4 days a week and am kindly provided with a study day every Wednesday to complete any work required for my degree apprenticeship. I would undoubtedly recommend pursuing an apprenticeship with any of the companies within the Shepley Group.

What are your career aspirations?

My immediate aim is to proceed with my development as a project professional, with the eventual intention of achieving my masters degree and chartership status. Whist I am fully committed to my development as a project manager in the short to medium term, my eventual long-term intention is to use the decision-making skills, leadership qualities and managerial experience that I have gained through the management of projects, to be able to facilitate and drive positive change at executive level.

What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship, has anything surprised you?

The most enjoyable aspect of my apprenticeship is how the theory and my workplace experience complement one another. I have used the theory from my degree course and applied that in the workplace, but I have also been able to use a lot of my workplace experience to reinforce the theory I learn on the course.

What would you say to people considering an apprenticeship?

If you are someone who would like to earn while you learn, there is no better alternative than an apprenticeship. If you are someone who would like to experience the University lifestyle and don’t mind working a part time job, then pursue the university pathway, your potential will not be affected by going down either route if your attitude is right and your work ethic is there.

Want to know more?
Read more about our apprenticeships or check out our careers page

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