Akbar Zaman, Redrow

“I actually got into bricklaying by chance through an open day and ended up really enjoying my craft and as such stuck with that route.”

Akbar Zaman, Redrow
Akbar Zaman
What were you doing before becoming a Redrow apprentice?

I actually got into bricklaying by chance through an open day and ended up really enjoying my craft and as such stuck with that route. I was doing Level 1 and Level 2 [bricklaying] at Bucks College Group in Aylesbury and did this for two years.

Did you ever consider going to university?

Well, my first year of college I did accounting and finance but hated it. So, when I went to my college opening day, I tried out everything and fell in love with bricklaying and have never looked back.

What is it about bricklaying that you love?

I love building in general, but with bricklaying, I love building people’s homes as it is heartwarming to know I am contributing to helping people build their own memories in a new home.

Have you enjoyed working on the Maltings site?

It’s been great! The site manager is really nice, helps me out a lot.  The brickies there are top brickies and have taught me a lot. They have been putting me through my paces making sure I get the most out of my experience.

Would you advise this as a route for others similar to you?

100%. There is no doubt that you should get out there and do an apprenticeship. Getting that industry experience – it’s just the best way to learn in my opinion. The getting paid aspect is just a bonus on top of all of the learning benefits that come with this opportunity.

What are your short-term/long-term aspirations?

My short-term goal is to finish the apprenticeship and gather as much experience as possible in order to make sure I use the apprenticeship well. In terms of my long-term future, I would love to be a project manager or even a site manager. If that doesn’t happen, it would be great to have my own gang of bricklayers and run my own business.

What challenges have you faced on site?

I had never been on site before, but the site manager was welcoming, and the other bricklayers were great to work with when I first started. 

I really enjoyed the learning experience especially with Redrow as they are incredibly inclusive.  Whilst it was a challenging start, the way in which Redrow works means that I have felt welcome. There are a lot of different people on site, whether that is women or ethnic minorities, I was treated with respect as is the case with everyone else which is great to see.

What are you most proud of so far?

I have been really lucky to work on stone houses which is valuable but also rare for someone of my skill level. This is a completely different brick and therefore it has been valuable that I have been able to learn as there are very few bricklayers who are able to work with stone. This is one of the great aspects of Redrow and the opportunity I have had.

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