Lili Daniel Governors Award Square

My journey from a BTEC course to an Apprenticeship

Built Environment Design Apprentice

I am in my second year of a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Built Environment Design. Looking back, I was not the ideal student with exceptional grades when I left high school, I had always been fascinated by the construction and engineering industry but as I missed the entry grades, I was not sure I could pursue a career in the field.

Surprisingly, I was offered a place at Leeds College of Building, my first choice! I started on a BTEC Level 2 in Construction and the Built Environment- and worked my way towards my current Diploma.

BTEC courses are different from the traditional route, they are very flexible and more related to vocational subjects. In my experience, as a Leeds College of Building Student, I am glad to have been exposed to practical knowledge and theoretical knowledge that has not just been taught in a classroom environment.

As part of my course, I have been encouraged to focus on building my skills. I have received individual support from tutors and mentors which has allowed me to reach a stage where I am trusted and feel confident working on high security projects, and even the largest construction project ever undertaken by the University of Manchester with a value of £350 million over of 78,000m2. I use BIM software to create layout drawings of building services such as water pipes, ventilation systems, lighting, and energy distribution systems. Being in a real workplace has developed my ability to work harmoniously with other team members, not just from my office but with different locations across the UK. I am also able to successfully take on individual responsibilities and work to high standards under pressure. I feel I have really been able to grow here and am ahead of most people who chose the traditional route.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my 4 years as a Leeds College of Building student.

I have formed so many connections and friendships with students and staff and have been awarded four outstanding prizes (Governors’ Award, Faculty Outstanding Contribution, Post 16 Student of the Year and Level 2 Construction and the Built Environment Student of the Year). Now I am excited to progress in my apprenticeship with NG Bailey and to develop my BIM Coordinator Apprentice position as much as possible.