Kim Thomson is an early careers advisor at Kier. Kim is also currently doing an apprenticeship in project management and here, she talks about her career journey so far and why National Apprenticeship Week is such a positive initiative.

“I joined Kier in May 2017 and before applying for the job the built environment wasn’t an industry I had considered before. I graduated from university with a degree in criminology and worked for several years at Victim Support, a charity that provides specialist practical and emotional support to victims and witnesses of crime. I worked here as a service delivery manager, which involved recruitment and management of volunteers and staff for Victim Support’s Bedfordshire area.

When I started researching the built environment and Kier I realised what an interesting and diverse industry it is. With the diversity comes a really interesting mix of people and my favourite part of the job is going out and meeting people from all different job roles, from facilities operatives to civil engineers and everything in between.

Once I had settled into my role as early years advisor I realised that there are so many other roles I could do in HR and I found myself really interested in the possibility of becoming a HR project manager. To feel confident in this role I knew I needed to upskill and decided that doing an apprenticeship in project management was the best way to do this.

I was aware that studying and working would be challenging, but the duration of an apprenticeship means I can spread out my workload and really take time to consider what I am learning in the classroom and apply it to my day-to-day role. Doing an apprenticeship and succeeding in my studies has also filled me with a great sense of achievement and I have felt myself get more confident in my role as my apprenticeship has progressed.

This year, I am very involved with National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), I have led the organisation and will be attending events across the week, including the National Apprenticeship Show in Milton Keynes. NAW is a great initiative that is taken up by a huge range of employers in a number of sectors and not just the built environment. It’s really positive for people considering an apprenticeship to learn what is out there and what routes are available to them.

For a lot of teams that have apprentices, their contribution to a project is invaluable and without them the work would take far longer. NAW doesn’t only provide Kier with the opportunity to showcase our apprenticeship opportunities, it also gives our workforce the opportunity for us to recognise the incredible contribution some of our current apprentices are making to Kier.

I think it is important for people to realise that apprenticeships are not only for young people, anyone can do one at any stage in their career to upskill and to better themselves and their career development path; I am thrilled that Kier is a supportive employer and this enabled me to do mine.”