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Tom Fifield, Apprentice, Atkins


Business area: Infrastructure (Civils)  

What qualification are you studying towards?: BTEC Level 3 – Construction and Built Environment (Civil Engineering). 

What is the most important thing you have learnt from your apprenticeship to date?

The most important thing I have learnt from my apprenticeship to date would be to ask questions. Never be intimidated or nervous about asking questions about something you are doing or maybe even something you didn’t understand at college. The people working around you have been in your shoes before and they are more than willing to help. I feel as though my colleagues really take the time to go through things in detail and are committed to investing in my learning and development.  

When I first started at Atkins, I was a very shy and nervous person and didn’t allow myself to reach my full potential in fear of failing. Working for Atkins has allowed me to realise this potential by working around people who build my confidence.  

What advice would you give to someone considering applying for an apprenticeship?

When I was in my last year of Post 16 the next step in my life was crucial as to whether I was going to progress with my dream or settle for something else. I never wanted to go to university. I felt that doing a degree would put me in a position of debt that I could potentially be paying off for many years. I had always considered apprenticeships as my first option when leaving school and it certainly paid off. My advice I would give to anyone applying to an apprenticeship would be that they can be tough; learning one day a week and working through the rest can leave little time to balance social and home life. 

What have you enjoyed most in the time you’ve been here? And what’s the next milestone you’re working towards?

What I enjoy most about working for Atkins is the knowledge that you have worked on engineering construction projects in the world that will one day be a physical structure. There is an element of satisfaction to this line of work that one day you may see this structure and know you were a part of what put it there. 

Currently I am finishing off my BTEC Level 3 Construction and Built Environment and hopefully next year I will be moving onto doing a BEng in Civil Engineering. Between now and then I hope also to become a Technician member of the Institute of Civil Engineers. 

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