ScaffolderJordan Edwards has been shortlisted for the CN Awards Apprentice of the Year
What did you do before you started the Apprenticeship?
I used to work for another scaffolding company where I only had a COTS card but then I was told by a friend TRAD offer a Scaffolding Apprenticeship where they give you a mentor, train you on the job as well as going to college to help you get your tickets, so I applied for the opportunity and now I get to work on all different sites.
Have you always wanted a career in construction?
No I haven’t. I didn’t think about a career before I started at TRAD, I just lived day by day and was unaware of the career opportunities within construction (I thought it was just on-site or to be a driver); it isn’t something I was taught in school.
What did you think of scaffolding when you got into it?
It was incredibly hard when I first started, the physical work and getting used to the components; I would come home exhausted, but each day I learnt more and started to get used to the physical work. Now I know the science behind erecting scaffolding you don’t look at it the same, I look at all the projects in London and appreciate the hard work that has gone into each one.
What made you want to do an apprenticeship in scaffolding?
My daughter, she is now 6 and a massive ‘Daddies Girl’ and having her made me realise I need to think long-term and strive for something more. I needed the money and I knew having a skill-set behind me was the best choice I could make.
Can you give us an example when you have helped someone and how did that make you feel?
When we have new people on-site I try to take a bit of time out of my day to explain what I can for them; I am always happy to help anyone who needs it, whether it means coming in early or staying late to get the job done. We have a few residential sites and I have always apologised to the customers and understand the tenants may be upset with the noise etc.
I understand their situation and I take time to apologise and speak to them; I feel like this really helps prevent any complaints in the long term.
What challenges have you had during your apprenticeship and how did you overcome them?
I feel like I stand out because I have come a long way since I started scaffolding, previously I couldn’t maintain a job and did poorly in secondary school. I have also been in prison due to being involved in the gang culture, all sorts.
But scaffolding is something I actually enjoy and want to progress in and become qualified. I live a totally different life now because of scaffolding.
I found getting used to the different scaffolding really difficult (System and tube & fittings), it’s like system scaffold is an automatic car and tube and fitting is a manual car, if you just do system it can be harder to learn tube and fitting.
I started on system and it was very hard to grasp but now TRAD have taken their time with me and shown me both systems in depth I am slowly overcoming the challenge; being on-site and having a good supervisor gives me the opportunity to ‘fine-tune’ it.
Another challenge I had was improving my social skills; I was quite introverted before and found it hard to make many friends, however working in a gang of 7 I have learnt to join in with the conversation and would consider my work colleagues as my friends too. The on-site environment and everyone helping each other has helped me overcome my shyness in work and my personal life.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Knowing I have a goal!
I am constantly progressing to reach it. My goal currently is to get my PART 1 by the end of the year. I had a bad experience with my first test due to me working with a new system Tube and Fitting as I had been working predominantly on system so consequently I found it challenging; but when I have a goal I have to achieve it so I have booked in for another! Also the people I work with makes my job, we all work together as a team and you don’t want to let anyone down.
What have you learnt so far at TRAD which really stands out from other companies you have worked for?
Being responsible and remembering safety first and saying if I think something isn’t right, TRAD is always Safety First which is a motto I adopted in my work and personal life.
What are your career goals?
To be a good scaffolding, I take a lot of pride in my work and hopefully one day go for my advanced and who knows from there, the sky is my limit right!