Meet the Apprentices...

Oli Johnson

Age:  21
Role: Apprentice Building Services Engineer
Team: Leeds
Joined TB+A: September 2013

Why did you decide on an apprenticeship?
After studying Sport, Psychology and many other subjects at college, I realised that going to university wouldn’t be for me (the studying, not the student lifestyle!).  So I decided that I wanted to get into the working world but still get some qualifications along the way. 

What interested you about Building Services Engineering?
When I first looked at building services, I had no idea what it was! A friend described it to me as ‘Bringing buildings to life’, which strangely is the TB+A strapline (coincidence?). Looking back at school and college, I’d always done well in ‘engineering’ subjects; maths, physics, graphic design, etc. so I knew I wanted to be in the engineering industry and building services seemed to involve all the aspects I enjoyed.

Why TB+A?
TB+A was one of the first apprenticeships that I applied for. I’d had interviews for other apprenticeships, but none were building services. When I had my interview at TB+A, I was made to feel very welcome and I had a good chat with Steve Bell, Partner and I left knowing that I’d love to work here. I went home and looked at the TB+A website which made me even more determined to get the job. Plus the fact that I’d beaten a number of other applicants to get where I was! Another thing that made me want to join TB+A is the fact that the office is in the centre of Leeds. And the view is great from our office!

What’s your favourite thing about working at TB+A?
There’s quite a few! I love what is involved with the job! There is so much diversity in what we do. One day I could be designing a lighting system, the next I could be on site discussing the possibility of using renewable energy. I also enjoy the sense of pride that comes with the job, and there really is a lot to be proud of. Working for an award-winning, national business is pretty good too!

Top tip for newbie apprentices?
Get involved! And take notes! The best way to learn is to be in the thick of it, so speak to your mentors and colleagues as they’ll always have an easier way to do something. Plus, they have years of experience.

Biggest challenge?
This biggest challenge is doing things for the first time, even asking colleagues for help. The first time you have to ring a manufacturer or utility company can be quite daunting but as soon as you’ve done it you realise that it isn’t that bad. I suppose another challenge  could be having to change a design when a job is ongoing. But most issues like this can be avoided if you coordinate with your colleagues and communicate with the design team and client.

What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m working on a number of projects and I’ve got a couple on the way. I’ve been working on office blocks in Leeds, schools in Bradford, a care village in Cirencester and a hospital in Derby. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
In 10 years time I want to be a firm fixture at TB+A. I will hopefully have completed my degree and (fingers crossed) achieved a Masters Degree. I want to see myself being heavily involved with a range of projects as well as the business itself. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
One interesting fact is that I am the first apprentice in the Leeds office, another could be that I was a northern martial arts champion once upon a time!

What is your favorite building and why?
Emley Moor Mast. If I can see it, it normally means I’m in Yorkshire or I’m coming home.

My Top Five 
Brand: Nike
Celebrity: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Hobby /Interests: Football, rugby, gym, running, socialising with friends, a good pub quiz!
Likes: Exercise, spending time with family and friends.
Dislikes: Poor Time Keeping
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