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National Apprenticeship Week Spotlight: A sit down with Alex Porter

Apprentices make up a healthy proportion of our workforce, as demonstrated by our recently announced Gold Membership with the 5% Club.

We’re passionate about opening up new opportunities to young people who are keen to forge a career within civil engineering, which can cover both on-site and off-site positions.

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week runs from the 5th – 11th February, so we thought it was the perfect time to shine a light on the next generation of talent currently learning their trade across our business.

In this first of three spotlight Q&As, we sit down with Alex Porter, one of our Trainee Electricians, to discover what an apprenticeship means to him and why he chose civil engineering for his future career path.

It’s great to meet you Alex. How long have you been with the business and what apprenticeship course are you currently studying towards?
I’ve been with McCann for four years now, so I’m well into my apprenticeship now. I’m studying on an Electrotechnical Installation Level Two and Three course.

Can you tell us a bit more about what your role involves please?
My role is very focused on street lighting as a delivery area, and covers all of the essential aspects of street lighting infrastructure installation and maintenance. This includes jointing, cut outs, feeder pillar works, fitting lantern heads and full testing of assets. I’m also responsible for minor communication works such as connecting power to cab sites, cable pulling and supporting a range of civil engineering tasks, such as digging to ducting work.

What made you decide that an apprenticeship was the right path for you?
I felt that with an apprenticeship, I could gain a broader understanding of the reasons why specific projects are needed within our industry, as well as learning why they’re carried out a certain way and the theory behind them. Apprenticeships offer a nice blend of practical skills and classroom-based learning, so you can really develop a greater understanding of the industry you’re working within than if you’re purely on site all day. I think this experience will really benefit me in future years – giving me a platform to enhance my career prospects.

What is it about civil engineering as an industry that excites you?
I would say I’ve always been a very practical person. I’ve always had a keen interest in civil engineering, as well as the more hands-on side of electrical and lighting projects specifically.

What do you love the most about your apprenticeship?
I love that I have the opportunity to meet and work alongside lots of people from different backgrounds. A lot of the people I work with have been in the industry for many years, so I’m always keen to soak up as much information and knowledge as I can. They’re also great at answering any questions I have.

What was it about McCann that really stood out to you as an employer?
McCann is a really well established and respected company within its industry, so the opportunity to work for a business like this really excited me. I was also excited by the choice of career paths that are open to me in the future. The management team encourages you to develop your skills, grow with the business and forge your own path. They really want the best for you.

What are your future aspirations for your career in civil engineering?
In the short-term, my focus is to complete my NVQ and become a fully qualified and competent electrician, before then seeing where my career can take me at McCann.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far. I feel supported and I know that I’ve made the right decision for my future. I’m just looking forward to seeing what the future holds at McCann.


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