Apprentice Case Studies

Philip Harrison

Name: Philip Harrison

Age: 49

Lives: Derbyshire

Company: Wates Construction

Job title: Managing Director Midlands and North

Job responsibilities:

  • Leads the business strategy for the region focussing on frameworks, education sector and commercial sectors.
  • Provides clear leadership and ensures that the values of the Company - intelligence, integrity, teamwork, performance and respect for people and communities - are wholly represented on all business activities.


  • NVQ Level 2 in Carpentry & Joinery (City & Guilds Craft and Advanced Craft)
  • BSc (Hons) in Construction
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Design
  • Membership of the Chartered Institute of Builders (MCIOB)
  • Northern Board Member of UKCG
  • Council Member (Yorkshire & Humberside)
  • Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

What you think you wanted to do after school and what you actually did.
Work with my hands, earn money and enjoy life.

Why an apprenticeship?
Training on the job, whilst being able to achieve the above.

What route has your career taken post-apprenticeship?
After completing my apprenticeship and gaining qualifications at FE College I decided I wanted to go back into fulltime education to study for my degree in Construction. On graduating I gained an elusive place on a management training programme, went through engineering and project management to arrive at my current role in business leadership.

Who were your main influencers in the early stages of your career which positively affected your success?
Family, friends and my college lecturers

How easy/difficult was it getting an apprenticeship and a job?
High competition however I had good O levels and have always been confident in selling myself.

What are your top tips for a successful career?
Be true to yourself, gain as much experience as you can and as varied as possible (all work experience is good as it helps mould your development)

What's your biggest regret?
Very few however would have liked to take the opportunity to work in London (scale of work and how it's done if different there)

What do you love most about working in construction?
The people, brings so much variation to each working day.

What's your favourite building in the world and why?
The Coliseum Rome, whilst it is an ancient monument the design and methods they used to build it remain relevant to the present day.



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