In honour of National Apprenticeship Week we share the first of a new series profiling members of the GHA team:
“Being an apprentice allows me to immediately apply the topics I learn in college to what I do in the workplace – allowing me to see the construction process in the real world. I enjoy being at GHA, surrounded by like-minded and knowledgeable people that not only have passion for architecture, but the drive to deliver award winning projects and working as a team. They are helping me to succeed alongside them – which is a great environment to learn and develop in.”
Harrison Baker’s experience as part of a bricklaying gang ignited his interest in the construction industry. Having enjoyed being in a workplace environment and wanting to learn, he realized that an apprenticeship would be the best way to achieve this. Following an interview with his now-boss Afsar, Technical Director for GHA, Harrison started his apprenticeship in January 2018. As Afsar now recalls: “I remember interviewing Harrison and was struck with his enthusiasm for not just the job, but also learning. I instantly knew he was the right candidate and he hasn’t let me down. The apprentice route has so many benefits for both us as a company and for the individual – I can see it becoming more and more popular.”
He now spends four days a week working alongside Architects and Architectural Technologists in GHA’s Birmingham office and is currently working on University College Birmingham’s new building in the Jewellery Quarter. On Mondays Harrison attends Dudley College where he is based in the new Advance II Building: “it’s a really well-equipped space and combined with the tutors it’s a great place to learn and progress”.
On a daily basis Harrison draws and reviews information, uploads documents and issues new drawings to the wider design team and subcontractors. He is looking forward to his responsibilities developing as he continues to learn: “I am looking forward to taking more on and deepening my knowledge. GHA as a practice have supported me massively with courses and my education. However, what I benefit from most is being in the office taking part in projects and learning from my colleagues – the Technologists, Architects and support staff. I feel the wealth of knowledge here is second to none”.
Senior Architect Tom Shenton works closely with Harrison: “It’s been really rewarding being part of Harrison’s training. His hard work is starting to pay dividends and he’s becoming an invaluable part of the team.”
Harrison is looking forward to the future: “It can sometimes be hard work, but the satisfaction far outweighs that. Once I’ve completed the college part of the apprenticeship I’ll move on to becoming a degree-level apprentice which is really exciting. I have many avenues I can take moving forward in my career all thanks to GHA, who have given me an opportunity that only comes once in a blue moon. Within the practice it seems there are no limits. My goal is to reach them and go beyond, to push myself as much as I can to achieve the best I can in my career, and support the needs of the practice, the projects and fellow colleagues alike.”