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May 2024 / Learners

Finding a career path that’s right for you can seem like a daunting task particularly if those around you have had their dream job in mind for a long time. But there is no right or wrong way to find a career you love.

For Jobs Growth Wales + learner Millie it was a case of watching brick-laying videos online and thinking ‘let’s give that a try’.

Millie came to Ƶ after a challenging time at school, where she undertook her Multi Skilled Construction qualification. But it wasn’t plain sailing from the start.

“In the beginning I sat around doing very little because I was nervous,” she explains. “Then my tutor sat me down in his office and said ‘do you actually want to do this because if you do you have to put the work in. It was the kick I needed to get on with it. Since then, I have been brick-laying every day and learning the craft.”

While brick-laying was the main topic of interest for Millie while working towards her qualification at Ƶ, she has since joined contractors Direct Maintenance on placement, and has had to get to grips with a number of new skills.

“With them I do rendering, plastering, cutting plasterboard and wood,” she said. “I like doing bathroom and kitchen jobs because it’s amazing to see the difference from the before to the after.”

Despite being the only female in the team, Millie was quick to find her feet within the team, with them ensuring that accommodations such as suitable bathroom facilities were put in place.

“I love my colleagues,” Millie said. “They’re funny and they’ve commented that I’m reliable. I show up every day and I am in the spot where I have to meet them on time. I will also try anything, I enjoy the work. They’ve been very accommodating.”

Millie’s tutor, Ian Rees, has seen her development throughout the JGW+ journey. He said: “Since joining us at Ƶ, Millie has excelled in both her construction skills and personal confidence. Millie’s brickwork skills are of a very high standard and along the way, with each assessment passed and each goal reached, her confidence has grown and grown.

“As part of her course she has completed her CSCS training and test where she had to answer 45 out of 50 questions correctly about health & safety within construction. This was a massive confidence boost for Millie and on a personal note, as her tutor, I was extremely proud of her especially knowing how hard she had studied for it.”

So far, Millie has completed her Level 1 award and certificate as part of her Multi Skilled Construction course. She is now working on her essential skills where she has completed her Application of Numbers, and is currently finishing her City & Guilds Level 2 Essential Communication Skills. She is hoping to continue her learning within her placement company.

Asked if she had any words of advice for someone, particularly other women, looking to pursue a career in construction, Millie said: “Just do it and don’t let the boys put you down, some of them tried to with me and I was better than them. Just keep going and just ignore them. If you want it you just need to put the work in.”

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