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Kian’s apprenticeship journey so far

16th April 2024

In our continuing series highlighting routes into a civil engineering career with Barhale, we throw a spotlight on apprentice, Kian O’Halloran (Site Technician, Southern Region). Kian is studying a degree apprenticeship alongside a BEng (hons) Civil Engineering at Anglian Ruskin University.

Kian started working at Barhale as a site technician after leaving school. This was after getting a recommendation from his uncle who worked in recruitment and suggested he look at some civil engineering companies that he could approach for a job. His interest in working in construction and engineering was developed after taking a DEC (Design, Engineering and Construct) GCSE which he thoroughly enjoyed and although he took three A-levels in English, Law and History, he knew once he finished school, he wanted to go down the construction route. After starting at Barhale, he discussed about doing an apprenticeship and after four months of working at Barhale, was accepted on the degree apprenticeship at Anglian Ruskin University.

Kian, who is a keen football fan, supporting Chelsea, as well as following Gaelic football due to his Irish heritage, shares how exciting he has found his work at Barhale so far, particularly as he admits that he felt really drained from academic learning and book reading while at school. He also observed how many of his friends who were also undertaking apprenticeships, were learning vital skills on the job alongside earning a wage, which really appealed to him.

The degree apprenticeship that Kian is undertaking consists of one day a week of online learning (with the occasional in person contact at University, usually for exams) and the rest of the week onsite, learning on the job with qualified engineers and other site personnel. His work to date ranges from interpreting design plans/drawings, measuring bolts, flanges and valves to writing RAMS and fire risk assessments. Kian is really enjoying the work and although he recognises that there has been some tough moments and some set-backs, he equally understands how much he has learnt since starting with Barhale and what great experience he has gained.

John Prendergast (regional manager, Southern region) is hugely supportive of Kian’s journey so far:

‘Kian is making great  progress in the apprenticeship. He is very eager to learn and furthermore, has got great site experience at our Thames Water Greenway site, which won the British construction industry (BCI) award.’ 

Kian agrees that degree apprenticeships are a great way to learn. He states that not only does it enable him to get a university degree but the experience that goes with it is invaluable. He would recommend this route to anyone wanting to become a civil engineer or work in the Engineering/Construction industry.