This year, Brickwork Level 2 Diploma student Shazia is going to realise her ambition to become a construction multi-trades professional. Last September, she took the first important steps towards a fulfilling career in the industry when she enrolled at our Bexley Construction Skills Campus at Holly Hill. So far, so good!

Shazia, 26 from Greenwich, has already studied for an arts degree at university and gone on to become a successful art teacher in schools. Though the teaching career was well underway, she realised that she held a desire to work within the built environments of her city and help to restore and replenish the beauty of its old buildings or work as a bricklayer for a landscaping firm.

“It came to me like a reawakening,” she said, “I have always been interested in architecture and historical open spaces and want to work on large or small scale developments and restoration projects in my community. I enrolled for an initial ‘boot camp’ experience at the College’s Kidbrooke Construction Skills Centre which gave me a series of eye-opening tasters in brickwork and tiling. This spurred me on to learn more.”

Recently, Shazia and fellow students from a range of different construction trades have been working on a very attractive restoration project at one of the UK’s most gracious stately homes - Charlton House in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. They are working alongside a team of specialist architects and craftsmen to learn traditional and modern refurbishment skills and techniques.

Currently, Shazia is the only female member of the team but believes that this kind of work is highly suitable for anyone who has an interest in the trades. She continued: “As a woman, I did have a few initial doubts about the course being very male-dominated. I went for it anyway and gave it a try. I’m so glad I did.

“I have been treated and supported so well by my fellow students and the staff have been nothing short of remarkable. I’ve felt comfortable at both the College and on site and I am part of a very enthusiastic team.

“Since enrolling for the course I have learnt how to construct brick walls and pillars and make basic elevation plans and drawings. I think I have come such a long way in such a short time. Every day I seem to learn more skills and gain more knowledge - it’s a brilliant course and one of the most interesting and exciting things I’ve ever done. I would recommend it to anyone who is serious about working in building and construction. It offers you a broad range of skills and a well-rounded experience of the trades both in practical as well as theoretical terms.”

The next steps on Shazia’s amazing career journey will be to continue working towards her level 2 qualification and secure an apprenticeship in the brickwork trade. From there she will embark on a number of specialist short courses and further qualifications.

If you think you have what it takes to become a construction or building trade professional and would like to build a successful career in the construction and built environment industries, we’d like to hear from you. We have a great range of courses to get you started. Come along to one of our open events. Click here to learn more.

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