Employee Case Study

Stephen Harrison: NHBC's Apprenticeship Scheme

Stephen Harrison: NHBC's Apprenticeship Scheme
Stephen Harrison
Vistry Group
Construction Site Supervisor

After 25 years of service in the Royal Marines Stephen was ready to return to civilian life and start a new career. He has now achieved his goal of becoming a Site Manager with Vistry Group after completing his Level 4 Construction Site Supervisor (CSS) apprenticeship.


Originally from Doncaster, Stephen is now living and working in Somerset. Having left the Royal Marines he wanted to find a new role that would continue to offer him the variety and challenge he’d enjoyed as a Marine, as well as the opportunity to build a new career.

Getting started:

Considering a new career after such a long time in another occupation can be daunting, so we asked Stephen how he got started in construction:

‘I spoke with a friend who had also been a Royal Marine and had found a new career in construction. I then got some advice from Build Force on Linked In who suggested that getting some experience on site was a good place to start.

After a week’s work experience with Vistry I knew I wanted to pursue a career in construction, so I started looking at ways I could do that. I spoke with my regional director and he suggested that the Site Supervisor apprenticeship could be a good route for me.’

Moving forward in a new career:

Co-created with industry experts and leading house builders, the CSS apprenticeship provides learners with the knowledge to manage staff and subcontractors, supervise all aspects of the build, and ensure homes are ready to move into.

Stephen said ‘It’s been a great chance for me to learn and I’ve found all the modules interesting. I think it’s important to have a breadth of knowledge so you can really get to grips with the technical elements and understand what the trades are doing.

The support I got on the apprenticeship and from Vistry was excellent and I’m glad I took this opportunity. It’s given me a chance to expand my knowledge, gain new skills and has got me on the career path I wanted and into a role I really enjoy.’

Looking ahead:

As well as a promotion to Site Manager after completing his apprenticeship, Stephen is also the Armed Forces representative for the South West, supporting people coming out of the Forces. And he has plans for his own progression too with the aim of becoming an Area Build Manager in the next 5 years, as well as the ambition to win a Pride in the Job award.

Rachel Irvin, Learning and Development Advisor at Vistry Group said ‘I’m delighted Stephen has completed his apprenticeship and become a Site Manager with us. At Vistry Group we’re proud to support people and offer opportunities for them to build their skills and knowledge ready for long and rewarding careers, and Stephen’s hard work on the Level 4 Construction Site Supervisor apprenticeship with NHBC is a great example of this.’

James Davis, Land Manager and Armed Forces Lead at Vistry Group added ‘We’re always on the lookout for more talented people to join Vistry Group and our Forces Network is well placed to offer advice, insight and experience to anyone looking to make transition from the Armed Forces into construction across a wide range of business areas including site management. For more information email forcesnetwork@vistry.co.uk.’

NHBC is proud to be an advocate of the Armed Forces Covenant and to support apprenticeships that benefit both the individual and meet the needs of house builders.

More case studies

a man in a shirt and tie in a site office looking at the camera

Brad Lines

After completing an apprenticeship in carpentry Brad wanted to push himself further and has now become the first person to attain the Level 4 Construction Site Supervisor (CSS) apprenticeship with NHBC and Redrow.

Read more
a photo of a bricklayer at work in site safety clothing

Nick Cox

Nick's been working hard building his career brick by brick to perfect his skill through an apprenticeship with Bloor Homes.

Read more
a photo of two people holding an apprenticeship certificate

Tom Warner

Tom decided to change his plans after leaving school. That was when his career in construction began through an apprenticeship with LTW Developments and training at the NHBC Bricklaying hub.

Read more

View our apprenticeship courses

We offer several intakes throughout the year so you don't need to wait until September to start!