08 Feb 2024

T Level to Apprenticeship: The Stepping Stones to Success

T Level to Apprenticeship: The Stepping Stones to Success


This National Apprenticeship Week, our Apprentice Site Engineer, Damien Saxon, shares his story on his early route into construction and his new found understanding of the industry, all thanks to his T-Level course and apprenticeship with Caddick Construction

Having dreamt of a career in engineering from a young age, Damien knew that workplace training would be crucial to his early career. Having just completed his Design, Surveying & Planning T Level at Hopwood Hall College, 19-year-old Damien has now set sail on a new adventure with a Civil Engineering apprenticeship with Caddick.

While Caddick Construction was delivering a new state-of-the-art campus facility at Damien’s college, Damien was joining the team in a work placement that saw him visit a number of Caddick’s projects across the North West, but most prominently on the West Vale development, a new housing scheme on behalf of First Choice Homes Oldham.

Damien comments: “My route into construction involved me working on-site with Caddick in both my T-Level course, and now my apprenticeship." When Caddick was building the new Middleton Campus at my old college, Hopwood Hall, I got chatting to the team during an open evening, and from there I was welcomed onto site to complete my T Level placement hours at Kiwi Street, a Guinness Partnership development in Salford.

“Everybody on-site has had a massive impact on my learning. From going out on-site with the engineer in my T-Level course, I knew I wanted to apply for an apprenticeship with Caddick after my college course and I’m so happy that I’m now continuing my learning with a team that has supported me from the beginning. I’m looking forward to the next three years of training for my HNC as an Apprentice Site Engineer at Wigan and Leigh College.

“Once I’d completed the allocated placement hours in my T-Level course, I knew that if I wanted to apply for the apprenticeship I needed to start thinking about a driving licence. Having spoken with the team, they kindly offered to keep me past my placement, working part-time on the West Vale development, to help me pay for my driving lessons, and give me a better chance of going on to do the apprenticeship. I was really grateful for this opportunity.”

Damien continues: “If there’s anybody out there who’s thinking about doing T Levels or an apprenticeship, I’d say definitely do it." It’s important to surround yourself with people who are willing to support you through your journey, and having that balance between studying in the classroom and putting that knowledge into practice on-site is really important to your development. Having that experience early in your career feels like you’re getting a headstart when it comes to applying for jobs and training opportunities later on.”

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