With both his father and his uncles in the industry, you could say that construction is in Brendan O’Hara’s blood. He certainly seems to feel that way, as he says he never really considered a career in a sector other than construction.
‘When I was thinking about what role I’d like to do on site, it just made sense for me to follow in the footsteps of older family members,’ he explains when asked why he chose to be an Apprentice Engineer. ‘They’re mostly involved in the civils side of construction, so it’s what I’ve grown up with.’
Brendan has worked on numerous high-profile sites since joining Howard Civil Engineering two years ago, including Foss Park Hospital, Greengates Junction, and our award-winning Hard Ings Road site.
‘All the project managers and site managers I have worked with so far have been really supportive and this has definitely helped me maintain my enthusiasm throughout my apprenticeship,’ he continues. ‘The sites I’ve worked on have been fairly big projects, but everyone has been very approachable, so it’s been a lot easier to adapt when moving between sites.’
When he completed his apprenticeship in Construction and the Built Environment, Brendan was working at our Skipton Road site in Harrogate. It seems this enormous 350-home residential development certainly challenged Brendan in all the right ways as he notes this site in particular when talking about his apprenticeship.
‘I’d say that I had a fairly similar apprenticeship experience to the rest of my college classmates until I started working on Skipton Road,’ he says. ‘As it’s a very large site, I’ve been a lot more involved in ordering and planning compared to my peers who were at a similar stage in their apprenticeships. I’ve definitely received a wider knowledge for those sort of things.’
So, what would Brendan’s advice be for new learners looking to make the most of their apprenticeship?
‘Pay as much attention as you can to what your mentors and your peers are telling you and get as much knowledge out of people as you can get – it will all put you in good stead for the future!’
It seems this approach definitely worked for Brendan, who has now completed his apprenticeship and has his sights set on becoming a project manager in a few years’ time.
‘While I see myself staying as an engineer for a good few years, I’d love to progress into project management,’ he says. ‘I’ve already had the conversation with my line manager, and it looks like it’s definitely possible for me to work towards this at Howard Civil Engineering.’
Amazing work, Brendan – well done!
AFR in July 2021
IFR in July 2021
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