Callum Quinn, Keepmoat

Callum Quinn, Keepmoat
Callum Quinn

Once Callum left school, he decided to try a bricklaying course. After testing the waters of a career in construction at college he knew it was what he wanted to do and pursued an apprenticeship to hone his skills. He’s now working hard to complete his apprenticeship with Keepmoat and training at the NHBC Bricklaying Hub in Newcastle. 


Like many young people Callum faced multiple options for a career as he came to end of compulsory education. He considered both college and university courses, as well as a route that could have led to a career in the fire service, before eventually choosing a bricklaying course at Bradford college, going on to represent them in a Guild of Bricklayers competition and cementing his aspiration of a career in construction.

Aiming for an apprenticeship

After discovering how much he enjoyed bricklaying at college Callum knew he wanted to keep building his bricklaying skills.

Callum explainedI enjoyed college and I think it was the right choice for me because it helped me ‘find my feet’ after I left school. It also helped me understand the basics of bricklaying and make sure it was definitely what I wanted to do. For me college was a way to get started before getting an apprenticeship, which was a lot harder than I thought. I’d applied to a lot so when Keepmoat contacted the college to say there were some available with them, I was really pleased. They interviewed me and that led to my apprenticeship and me getting the next step in my career.

The next step

As part of the apprenticeship Callum studies at the NHBC Training Hub in Newcastle. He started with a five-week block release at the very beginning, something NHBC tailored to the needs of the house-building industry so that apprentices can be productive as soon as they arrive on site.

NHBC hubs prepare apprentices for being on site by accurately recreating a site environment through:

  • Reflecting a real-life site through the layout of the facility 
  • Having an outdoor working area that is used throughout the year 
  • Applying the same health and safety standards as you’d experience on site 
  • Working to site hours, rather than traditional college hours 
  • Employing knowledgeable tutors with first-hand experience of working on sites themselves. 

Callum saidI found the first five-week block really helpful; you learn all the key skills to get on with the job as well as what to expect and what is expected of you on site. I think the preparation and training at the hub is about as good as you’re ever going to get – it’s probably the best, if not the only way, to get this experience, short of being on site. And, as you progress through your apprenticeship, you learn a lot of other essentials too. I’ve found it’s made me more independent, and I’ve learned a lot about communication, time management, and organisation skills which will be a massive benefit to me for my career in the long-term.

Looking ahead

Callum is now in the End Point Assessment (EPA) process to complete his apprenticeship. We asked him what his plans for the future were and he said “In the short term I want to get as much experience as possible and learn as much as I can. I think I’d eventually like to get into property development and build my own business. In the long-term I’d also really like to give something back to the industry and help new people get into construction, so it would be great to teach. I’d love to be able to pass on my experience and the skills I’ve learned to other people joining construction.

Geoff Scott, Social Value Manager at Keepmoat addedWe wish Callum all the very best for his EPA and congratulate him on all the hard work he has done so far. The Level 2 Bricklaying apprenticeship is a great option for those looking to build a career in construction and the training hubs are an invaluable way for people to learn much-needed skills before getting out on to sites to support build programmes.

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