In spring 2020 Gurpreet Singh gained his level 2 BTEC diploma in Construction Operations and Civil Engineering Services – Highways Maintenance.

Gurpreet (R) with his ganger Satinder Pal Singh on site

Gurpreet joined the A14 project in 2017 aged 28, on a ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeship through Arc Academy. After gaining his diploma, he was promoted to multi-skilled operative.

After leaving the A14 project, he joined the VGC team working near Birmingham for client BBV. They are building a slurry treatment plant which will treat spoil from the HS2 tunnel boring machines. Gurpreet expressed an interest in working with concrete, which this role covers.

“Everyone on the A14 project works together to support each other,” says labour manager James Burke. “It’s an attitude led by the IDT general foremen; there’s a real feeling of teamwork.”

James Burke and Gurpreet Singh
Labour manager James Burke (L) presents Gurpreet with his BTEC certificate

James mentors VGC’s apprentices on the project (23 in all), and arranged help for workers who need support to attend lessons in English, literacy and numeracy. James is one of our trained FIR ambassadors, and is a STEM ambassador.

James also led a trial of work placements for local unemployed people to help them back into work.

Gurpreet’s ganger, Satinder Pal Singh, helped him to learn on the job. “My fellow workers have been very helpful,” Gurpreet said. “My aim is to work my way up through the company.”