Construction apprentice, Harry Pearce, 16, looks back on Open Doors 2017 and explains why working at Alexandra Palace means so much to him.
On Monday, I was part of the Willmott Dixon team that helped CITB and Build UK launch the Open Doors campaign at Alexandra Palace.
To be honest, I’m still buzzing from it!
The Alexandra Palace site has been my working-home for the last six months and I have loved every minute of it. To be able to show the public the hard work that is going on there was a fantastic opportunity for us as a team.
I joined Willmott Dixon as a Technical Apprentice, and to find out my working life would begin on the historic Alexandra Palace was like a dream come true.
I’m actually the third generation of my family to work on the site. My Dad worked on the rebuild following the fire in 1982 and my Grandad worked on exhibitions here years before that.
So you could certainly say it’s in my blood!
At the Open Doors launch, I met someone whose dream also came true through construction, ex-professional footballer Jimmy Bullard. Jimmy was brilliant on the day, and it was great to hear his story. He started working in the industry with his dad at 16 – something I could relate to myself.
His construction background then helped him achieve one of his lifelong dreams of building his own family villa in the Algarve.
Open Doors is a fantastic campaign – it really gives people a taste of what it’s like to work in construction – just as my work experience did back in April 2016. Being able to see first-hand what the industry is like was the decision-maker for me and hopefully it will be for many of the Open Doors visitors.
Being part of such a great campaign has made me even more determined to succeed in the industry. Once I’ve completed my two year apprenticeship, I’d like to join the Willmott Dixon Trainee Scheme which lasts four years. Eventually, I’d love to become a Construction Manager.
There are so many opportunities in construction, and showcasing these to the general public is what Open Doors is all about – I would love nothing better than seeing more young people like me taking on a career in construction.
Who knows, one day I could be building my own villa in the Algarve next to Mr Bullard!
About the author
Harry Pearce, is a Technical Apprentice with Willmott Dixon.