Kirsty Mckernan- Higher Apprentice
5 months ago

What is your job title?

Early careers advisor- HR apprentice (CIPD)

What does a day/week in your role look like?

Since beginning my apprenticeship, my days have been mostly focused on exposure and learning. I have worked with my line manager and other people in my team to understand recruitment, HR and Early careers. I have completed mini projects such as Early Career case studies for our advertising platforms, Site directions to help candidates find locations, and supported the creation of role profiles. As well as my daily tasks, I attended college one day a week. My college days are very interesting as I have never learnt about business and HR, so all of the content is new and engaging. My college and daily work go hand in hand and is giving me a wider understand of the business and how my role is adding value to the wider organisation.

My role will eventually vary annually because of the Early Careers recruitment process. In the 
autumn season, I have been attending career fairs and events to attract and engage 
with candidates. Around Christmas, our apprenticeship and Graduate roles will go live so I will begin to start screening candidates. As the year progresses, I will conduct interviews and support candidates in the recruitment pipeline right up until selection and onboarding. The annual recruitment campaign will then start again!

What do you enjoy the most about your role?  

definitely enjoy the variety and development the most about this role. The role is hybrid, I have a college day, and I attend events so no two days are the same. I think the emphasis on learning and development at Tarmac really stands out and I feel supported to achieve great things. I feel that senior people around me want me to do well and encourage me to take on new opportunities and push myself out my comfort zone.

I also love that my role is people focused. I understand that I will add value to the 
organisation through helping to recruit and develop young people into the business. I also love that I am able to add social value to the wider community through career events at schools, colleges, and University's where I can share career advice with people who may not have considered an apprenticeships in the Construction industry. These career discussions are really important as they allow us to add value to areas of low social mobility and encourage diversity for the future of the Construction industry. For example, having career conversations with young women about what the construction industry has to offer.

What do you like about working for Tarmac?

Tarmac puts a large emphasis on Early Careers and encourages their apprentices and graduates to think outside the box. I feel like my input is respected and I am trusted. I also like how Tarmac encourages networking. I have attended events with other apprentices and Graduates and have met people from all levels within the business. There is a big push on ensuring all the staff understand what we do as a business, which means we go on site visits and meet people from different business areas. There is a real sense of community and celebration of people's differences.

What advice would you give to other young people about Early Careers?  

It's very difficult to find a job you love. Throughout education, I applied for apprenticeships and Graduate schemes but was not successful. When I saw this role advertised, I knew straight away it was the job I wanted. I put so much hard work and effort into my application and interview and was ecstatic when I found out I had finally got my dream job. Transitioning from education to a career is difficult, and everyone's journey is different. I have had jobs that were not for me, felt unmotivated by rejection and have felt low because I couldn’t find the right job for me. My advice would be to not give up and to keep going when applications get tough as the right job is waiting for you and everything happens for a reason.

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