6 November 2017
Considering his current responsibilities in managing over 100 Project Managers in seven different countries, you may not suspect that our Head of Project Management, Dave Corbin, started his career as an apprentice gas engineer at British Gas.
From an early age, Dave knew that conventional educational pathways were not for him; he needed real-world experience to thrive.
Dave’s success reflects tremendously on the merits of apprenticeships in our ongoing endeavours to bridge skills gap and introduce the brightest young minds into our fold. We are immensely proud to support practical and alternate forms of education.
At a recent G4C North West (Generation 4 Change) event, where he was invited to speak, Dave said: “It is the duty of organisations like WYG to support Apprenticeships and Graduate Development programmes, to make our careers attractive to new generation. We need to make sure that we have the skilled workforce necessary to deliver projects in the future.”
At only 15, Dave had already finished school, but his weak GCSE results made any prospects of acceptance into A-level schools or universities unlikely. He needed an alternative to continue his personal development and find a suitable career path.
By what he considers a stroke of good fortune, Dave happened upon a gas engineer apprenticeship with British Gas. It was an opportunity to organically learn about the industry, gain some experience, and become ready to pursue further academic knowledge.
“I was lucky to get my apprenticeship,” Dave said. “It has certainly suited my combination of practical ability and academic application. Whilst what I do now is a million miles away from the start, it is wholly linked with creating or managing assets in the built environment in one way or another.”
From there, Dave chose to pursue a degree in Energy Engineering. It felt like the logical next step in his post-apprenticeship learning, and he now felt more grounded than he ever could have without this apprenticeship experience. The teenager who previously had no idea what to do for a career would go on to graduate with a first-class honours degree. He would then join a building services consultancy as a graduate consultant, before launching his career in project management.
As he puts it, time really did fly while he was having fun.
“I hope that my personal career shows that this industry is not limited to those who fit within the traditional education system and that it can give those within it the chance to discover what interests them.”
We are grateful to have people like Dave onboard, who inspire others in leading by example.
For our part, we’ve been increasing vacancies for graduates and apprentices at WYG year after year, encouraging greater involvement with our professional institutions and sponsoring apprenticeships. In so doing, we hope to lead young graduates in forming the bedrock of our business going forward.
To the younger generation, Dave concludes with these words: “follow your instincts and any opportunity you get to test new ideas and get yourself outside your comfort zone. These opportunities are the steps that will establish your professional reputation and build your career.”