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Insights NAW 2024: 7 reasons I love my AtkinsRéalis apprenticeship

I'm Charley, an Apprentice Architect at Atkins, operating as AtkinsRéalis. How did I get here? I decided that university wasn't the right choice for me—I was looking for a more practical, hands-on approach to learning. And when searching for an apprenticeship, I came across AtkinsRéalis. I hadn't heard of the organization before but recognized some iconic projects. The range of large-scale projects and sectors I could get involved in attracted me to AtkinsRéalis.

Photo of Charley smiling towards the camera

1. From day one, I was one of the team

Joining the company in September 2022, with no prior experience in architecture, I wondered what my role would look like. From the outset, I was supported by my team. I received practical training to develop my skill set and was soon contributing to live project work. Being immersed in the role daily and surrounded by professionals in the field allows me to pick up information much faster than working independently in a purely academic environment.

2. I get to explore my areas of interests

AtkinsRéalis is a multidisciplinary practice, meaning I get a holistic view of the construction industry and the opportunity to work closely with other business areas. For example, I have worked with the research and innovation team, further expanding my understanding of the industry's capabilities.

3. My colleagues want me to succeed

As an apprentice at AtkinsRéalis, I feel supported and appreciated by my team and others. Everyone is committed to developing the team's younger members, encouraging us to take opportunities such as attending conferences, meeting with clients, visiting construction sites and being interviewed by journalists to give the next generation a voice.

4. I’m supported to thrive

Organization is vital—balancing university, work, and social life can be challenging sometimes, but achieving this balance is very rewarding. I can still get involved with the university experience if I choose to. I can join societies, go to socials and visit Barcelona with University. Travelling and experiencing different parts of the world is very important to me, and an apprenticeship allows me the freedom to do so. I also enjoy ice skating, painting, and spending time with my family and friends in my spare time.

5. My top tip for AtkinsRéalis apprenticeship interviews

An excellent piece of advice I received before my interview and assessment centre was that interviewers will be looking for someone committed to learning with the correct foundations to become a valuable team member.

6. How have the skills and experiences gained at AtkinsRéalis prepared you for a successful career?

Working in a studio environment as an apprentice has allowed me to develop a wide range of lifelong skills. The most important to me is teamwork, which involves effective and professional communication, problem-solving, and adapting to new challenges.

7. What are you currently working on?

A significant project I'm working on is a Special Education Needs school in Sheffield, which aims to provide a supportive and safe educational environment for 80 pupils ages 11 to 16. It's rewarding to make a tangible difference in the community by providing accessible learning spaces for everyone.

It's National Apprenticeship Week, and we're hiring. Find out more about becoming an AtkinsRéalis apprentice.