Charlotte Harrigan: NHBC's Apprenticeship Scheme

Charlotte Harrigan: NHBC's Apprenticeship Scheme
Charlotte Harrigan
The Hill Group
Construction Site Supervisor (CSS)

Charlotte Harrigan found her way to the construction industry during Covid-19 and while on furlough. After a period of work experience on site working for The Hill Group, she realised she’d found a role and a company she could build a career with.


From southeast London, Charlotte had worked in other jobs, including a role as a front-of-house receptionist in an office block and as a helpdesk coordinator for engineers, but she knew she really wanted a more active and hands-on opportunity.

It was, in fact, Charlotte’s mum who noticed a poster for Women into Construction and told her about it. Before this, Charlotte had never heard of this organisation but knew she wanted a role on site. Women into Construction were instrumental in supporting her to gain work experience after she contacted them about becoming a health and safety inspector.

After a successful placement, she became a Site Assistant with Hill in October 2020 and has never looked back.

Learning that works

Created in collaboration with industry experts and leading housebuilders, the Level 4 Construction Site Supervisor (CSS) apprenticeship offers dedicated online learning days that cover a range of modules, including construction technology, health and safety, and communication.

Charlotte said, ‘I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship. This way of learning has worked really well for me, especially as I like to take extra time to understand more and read around things, which there’s plenty of opportunity to do.‘

I’ve learned a lot, and the technical knowledge has been reinforced when I’ve been back on site. I’ve also learned about things like professional behaviour, which was really useful for me. I was able to take it back to the site as it helped me understand how to talk to people, manage their expectations, and deal with challenges effectively.’

Being a woman in construction

We asked Charlotte about how she found her way into construction and her experience of being a woman in a still largely male-dominated industry.

She said, ‘I’ve had a good experience working in this industry and would encourage more women to join. I think, like many people, I would say that the house-building industry is definitely getting more diverse. I am not the only woman on my site, but there are only four female members of the site team, so we’re still very much in the minority. I think that this will improve, and over time it will become more balanced, but there is still a way to go.’

Building a career in construction

Charlotte will soon enter end-point assessment (EPA) for her apprenticeship and looks forward to progressing to an Assistant Site Manager role with Hill Group.

She is also looking forward to working on new and different developments, increasing her skills, and gaining even more experience.

Simon Hawkins, Group Talent Development Manager at Hill, said, ‘It has been wonderful to be able to offer Charlotte the chance to develop her skills and knowledge about construction in a way that complements her existing role and prepares her for career development later. The CSS apprenticeship is a great option for anyone looking to progress to site management and build a long and rewarding career in the house-building industry.’

NHBC is proud to offer apprenticeships that support the development of individuals and help house builders begin to address the skills gap in the construction industry.

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