Every year, our first-year Management Trainees embark on an informative 2-week Trade Awareness residential course in Bircham Newton.
This unique experience provides an interactive and hands-on opportunity to delve into various trades and acquire new skills within the Built Environment. The course offers an immersive learning environment and the chance to catch up with Management Trainees from different parts of the business. At the end of each week, our trainees are assessed, and awards are presented to acknowledge their achievements.
The Trade Awareness course offers a holistic learning experience, where trainees get to explore diverse aspects of construction, including Brickwork, Steel Fixing, Formwork, and Concreting, etc. The sessions are designed to combine theoretical knowledge with practical experience, enabling participants to gain real-world understanding of the challenges faced by the supply chain while working in these trades.
We caught up with Finn Collins, one of our Commercial Management Trainees in the Midlands, to gain an insight into his experience:
What was your favourite session and why?
“My favourite session throughout the two weeks was the Formwork and Concreting day, although doing the SFS and Fire stopping was also an enjoyable experience, which I took away a lot of knowledge from. Both of these sessions featured a lot of practical work which allowed me to better experience and understand the processes in place as well as the challenges which the supply chain might face when working.”
What skills did you learn and any key takeaways you can share with us?
“One of the main takeaways I had from the course was regarding the challenges that Supply Chain Partners might face on site. Working on each of the trades provided different challenges and required different solutions and skill sets to rectify. Getting the opportunity to partake in them certainly helped me to gain a better understanding of the processes as well as the standards which would need to be met. It was beneficial to work with new people across different tasks; as is usually the case, everyone had different strengths and skillsets and it was worthwhile to be figuring out how to assign tasks and get the most out of the different members of the team. Delegating different roles allowed individuals to better represent themselves and what they were good at, so I think that really helped to provide a more memorable learning experience.”
What was the most challenging thing for you during the course and why?
“The most challenging part of the course was probably the socialising aspect at the beginning; personally I find it to be a challenge to meet new people and settle into new groups. With everyone attending for the same reasons it was easy to find common ground and move past this and I hope to think I left the event with some new friends.”
What advice do you have for future trainees undertaking the Trade Awareness course?
“My advice for the trade awareness event would be to listen to the instructors and try to take notes during the presentations they give; there is a lot of information to be taking in and in order to get the most from the sessions. It’s good to have something to relate back to, especially for when it’s time to do the presentations at the end of the fortnight.”
What was the best aspect of the course?
“Aside from the learning sessions, I enjoyed being able to spend time with my colleagues in the evenings, getting to know people better outside of the working environment during the day times.”