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A young apprentice - Logan's Story

A young apprentice - Logan's Story

At sixteen I decided I wanted to be part of the construction industry but I wasn’t certain in which role. I had previously approached O’Halloran & O’Brien Ltd and I was fortunate to be offered a 2 week structured work experience programme. The work experience opportunity really helped to develop my understanding of the construction industry and the varied job roles.

May/June 2021

Now nineteen, I have now worked for OHOB for over 2 years, with much of the last twelve months being site based at our Cobham site. We are a main contractor, working as Keady Construction, where we are building two blocks of high quality flats, targeting retirement living. This has been an absolutely fantastic project for me to be a part of and I have been fortunate to have been supported by some excellent mentors such as; Conal Doherty, Paul Munday and David Fridd. I have been tasked with and had exposure to a wide range of opportunities which have helped me broaden my construction knowledge and experience. I have spent a considerable amount of time shadowing both the External Manager and the Internal Manager and their shared knowledge and expertise have been invaluable to me. I have also been given specific individual tasks by our Project Manager, which has allowed me to take personal responsibility for certain aspects of the project as well as help me to self-develop the discipline of prioritisation. Throughout this period I have continued to benefit from other training and up-skilling opportunities such as an NVQ in Non-Hazardous Waste in Construction.

Over the course of the pandemic period I personally struggled with the virtual delivery of the apprenticeship programme and the lack of social engagement with my fellow university colleagues, although I have been extremely well supported by the staff at London South Bank University.

The apprenticeship programme has really suited my learning style as I am able apply the practical knowledge I have gained in the workplace to my academic studies and similarly apply my academic development in my role as an Assistant Site Supervisor.

November/December 2021

More recently I have needed to take some time off work due to mental health issues. This was not something I had anticipated to encounter and took me by complete surprise. However, everyone at OHOB and in particular our Chairman Tom O’Brien have been exceptional in both supporting me with the initial problem and helping during my rehabilitation. I have had no pressure placed on me whatsoever to return to work and/or do anything that I haven’t felt ready to do!

I have over this period continued to attend London South Bank University and work on the academic side of my apprenticeship. This I have found to be very helpful as it allowed me to apply construction knowledge and skills whilst I have been off work. I have particularly benefitted from returning to face-to-face teaching and the social interaction of university colleagues, which has both suited my learning style and contributed to improving my mental health.

As a result of my mental health issues I have become motivated to embark on a personal challenge in order to raise money for mental health awareness specifically for those who are working in the construction sector and in particular young people. I am aiming to climb Mont Blanc, which is the tallest mountain in Western Europe, standing at 4,809m. This challenge would not only be a massive personal achievement for myself but would also be an opportunity for me to support others and continue to raise the awareness of mental health issues for those in the construction industry.

I know the subject of mental health in the construction sector continues to largely remain an unspoken topic and is difficult for many people to discuss. I am therefore planning to embark on a number of physical challenges in order to raise money for the Lighthouse Charity specifically to raise awareness of the important of mental health and well-being of construction workers and especially young people.

In preparation for Mont Blanc, I am looking to undertake the 4 Peaks challenge namely to summit Ben Nevis, Scotland (1,345m), Helvellyn, Lake District, England (950m), Snowdon, Wales (1,085m) and Carrauntoohil, Ireland (1,038m) within a 48-hour window between 12th and 14th May 2022.

The 4 Peaks Challenge has been organised by the Lighthouse Charity and is all about endurance. However, the Mont Blanc climb is slightly different proposition, there is only one window annually, of approximately 12 weeks, between May and August, when it is advisable to consider climbing Mont Blanc for someone with my experience., The climb is now booked for August 2022 and I am hoping to raise £25k for the Lighthouse Club and other mental health charities. I will share more details in my next update.

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