Meet Cathal, our Traineeship Programme Manager

Who is who

The ‘Who’s Who of K10’ series

K10 has been implementing Apprenticeships in the construction industry since 2010. In fact, today, we are London’s largest Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA), with apprentices working across the city’s major developments. An apprenticeship is not always right for everyone though – or rather, not everyone is right for an apprenticeship. What happens when you’re interested in construction, but have no experience? 

For this very reason, we also offer Traineeships. If you’ve been in touch with us regarding a Traineeship, chances are, you’ve talked to Cathal, our Traineeship Programme Manager.

We recently grabbed a few moments with him to ask a few questions about his background, his typical day and what he sees as the future of K10.

Cathal, let’s start with life before K10. Tell us about a little about yourself.

“Sure! I grew up in Galway City, Ireland but I’ve called London my home for a while. I studied BA Graphic Design here at University of East London and I fell in love with the city’s mix of cultures and upbeat lifestyle. After university, my roles have been varied: from Boxing Coach, to Graphic Designer, Senior Recruitment Consultant and Programme Manager for a Social Enterprise. “

Enter K10. What was it that attracted you to your current role?

“I felt it offered the opportunity to harness my commercial mind, balanced with a strong social and ethical element. I’d also hoped to gain further experience in motivating individuals and managing a new project. I started in October 2018 and haven’t looked back. The role is continually challenging – definitely no boring days here.”

What does your role involve? How would you describe your responsibilities?

“In a nutshell, I look after the day to day running of our traineeships, alongside our Training Manager Taahira. For our trainees, that means keeping them focused and motivated (I speak to each of them regularly), finding suitable work experience opportunities for them and ensuring their fully prepared before they start on site.

For our clients – the main developers and sub-contractors of the construction world – this would mean not only keeping them up to date on the trainees’ progress on site, but also touching base on the programme from their point of view, serving as a ‘bridge’ between the two parties. I can also work with clients to forward plan for any upcoming opportunities as and when relevant and to keep them up to date with any related company developments, new services and so on.

The role is varied though, just like work on site, no two days are the same and it’s important to be OK with just getting stuck in. Something, I think, the construction industry values, whatever your specific role.”

Do you think you’d be able to describe a ‘typical day’?

“First thing’s first: a strong cup of coffee! I’d then spend some time catching up with the trainees, whether they’re in the building with us or on site during their work experience. The point is to make sure everything is going well or answer any questions they might have.

I’ll also be reviewing CVs and booking interviews for our next traineeship intake. We’re also constantly reviewing our courses, to make sure that they are as useful as possible for the trainees. We’d never want them to become stale or fall behind in terms of what employers within the industry would expect.

Finally, there will be a section during the day reaching out to existing and prospective referral partners. Practically, this might include site visits, meetings at our offices or indeed relevant job fairs and events.”

Sounds like you’ve got your hands full during the day, then. How do you think this might evolve in the future?

“Most definitely, but that said, the wider team are always here to help, should I need it. We’re a great unit, we work hard, but we get on too.

Even in the relatively short time I’ve been here, it’s already clear that the company has a bright future ahead. I can specifically see the route to expanding our traineeship offering over the next 12 to 18 months, drawing on the strong results we’ve seen and the established name that the company already has in the industry. I’m looking forward to really pushing ahead with these changes and really making them my own.”

Thanks, Cathal, we’re looking forward to seeing everything the traineeship arm of the business is set to achieve.

Read more about our traineeships here.

If you’re interested in discussing our traineeships further, get in touch with Cathal via email or call him in the office on 0203 6962 660.

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