Project Management Apprentice, DIO
My name is James Davies and I am currently employed here at the DIO, working in the Major Projects department as a Project Management Apprentice. Since earning a Sports Journalism degree back in 2013 I have worked numerous dead end jobs in the private sector, moving from office to office with no real career progression and no real enjoyment of being at work. When I saw the advert online for this role, I knew it was a real opportunity to start on a defined career path in an interesting, ever-changing environment where the outcome of your work would actually matter and be of significance.
Since starting my employment here at the DIO in August 2018, I have had the chance to work and visit some fascinating project sites. In June I was lucky enough to spend a week with the brilliant project teams in HMNB Clyde and get an insight into the challenging world of delivering marine based nuclear infrastructure projects. I have also been lucky enough to be a part of two project teams here in the south, firstly working as part of the project team at Project Wellesley at Worthy Down Camp on a £330m site regeneration project. As part of my work here on Wellesley, I have had my own projects to run as part of the major overhaul across site, with the first one of those completing in late November. I have also been working as part of the project team on the Ashchurch Building Refurbishment project, a smaller project whose delivery is vital to the long term aspirations of the VSSP Project. We are currently working towards our final gateway review, with the aim of breaking ground early in 2020.
Through my time at the DIO I have been lucky to have been supported each step of the way, either in terms of my day to day work on the projects, or with my apprenticeship portfolio and coursework, by the MPP department as a whole and especially my line management team. Coming into the world of projects and acronyms that is the DIO with no previous experience of anything like this was daunting to begin with, but with the help of my line manager Ellie Lanning and my mentor Pete Lillywhite I believe I have been able to achieve some really good outputs this year and hopefully make the first few steps towards a long and successful career here at the DIO.
Winning this award has given me a great confidence boost and has helped show me that what I have been doing over the last 15 months has been appreciated and has been a help to the project teams I have been working with. I really would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone as I think they are a great way of learning a new skill, whilst being able to match that learning with on the job experience as well as a pay cheque at the same time.