Apprenticeship as a mature student forges successful career in building maintenance for Judah Scott » Bedford Heights

Apprenticeship as a mature student forges successful career in building maintenance for Judah Scott

February 10, 2023/0/0

For ex-Mark Rutherford School pupil Judah Scott, a chance application for a general assistant role at local business centre Bedford Heights turned out to be a career defining and life changing moment.

Upon leaving school, Judah wasn’t sure what he wanted to do and had several jobs before applying for the role of General Assistant at Bedford Heights.

Judah’s application was successful and he started in September 2014, ‘doing a bit of everything’, as he recalls. ‘In the mornings I might cover reception, then I would go and help out in the kitchen and assist with conferencing.’

After working in every department, Judah had the opportunity to assist the maintenance manager who quickly identified an aptitude for the role in Judah. A year after he first joined, Judah was invited to join the maintenance team on a permanent basis.

It was during Judah’s first performance review with new landlord Tim Pain that the idea of an apprenticeship was first mooted. Keen to develop his new team, Tim suggested to Judah that he study mechanical engineering as an apprenticeship, not only to ensure the long term protection of the building but also to provide Judah with a lifelong skill and qualifications.

Reflecting on his return to education, Judah said: “I admit I felt out of place at first, I was 28 when I started my course and most of the students were 18 or 19 and fresh out of full time education. After a while though I got used to it, I got my head down and just focused on the fact I was there to pass my college course”.

Judah spent two years studying Mechanical Engineering with one day at Bedford College and working four days a week, as well as evenings and weekends devoted to extra study. Judah’s hard work paid off and he passed the Level 3 course with distinction star distinction.

Tim was delighted with Judah’s achievements and, keen to maintain his momentum, put him forward for a further apprenticeship programme.

“Judah’s diligence, hard work and commitment paid off in spades for him and I was thrilled with how well he dedicated himself to achieving considerably high grades whilst working full time here at Bedford Heights. I could see first hand how much the course was benefitting him and so I wanted to explore other opportunities to continue his professional development.”

Judah went straight on to study Electrical Installation, a further three year programme, which he completed in 2020 after a total of five years of study.

And just a year later, the opportunity arose for Judah to step into the role of maintenance manager. ‘“I never thought I would have this opportunity and role to take responsibility of a site this size – 250,000 sq ft – it’s a huge responsibility,” said Judah.

“Someone once said to me, if you enjoy what you do, you never work a day in your life, and I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had because I genuinely enjoy what I do.

“To anyone considering their next steps in their work or career, I would highly recommend an apprenticeship. You’re learning as you’re going, learning a job and getting qualified at the same time; gaining a skill for yourself that can never be taken away from you.”

“Although I was older when I returned to college, I was ready and I knew if I didn’t take the opportunity I would be doing same as I’d always been doing. This opportunity opened doors and huge career changes for me and now I’m maintenance manager at Bedford Heights. If I hadn’t completed the apprenticeship or courses I wouldn’t fit the criteria for the role.”

Tim said: “As Maintenance Manager for Bedford Heights, Judah is responsible for every aspect of the building’s maintenance as well as managing a team of three. This is a unique building and its vast size as well as the complexity of the building’s engineering requires someone with considerable knowledge and skill to look after it, and Judah’s experience, knowledge and qualifications ensure he is more than well placed to do so.”