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Meg

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Meg's STORY

Assistant Project Manager on the Infrastructure Team
Southwest Water

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Meg pursued a nursing degree before becoming a wheelchair user. After spending sometime handling calls for the ambulance service. She stumbled upon an apprenticeship at South West Water, and she absolutely loves it!

I’m just finishing off my Level 4 Associate Project Management Apprenticeship. Later this year I will start a Project Management degree apprenticeship. Currently, I manage 10 projects spanning from the bottom of Cornwall to the top of Devon. This includes maintaining our current assets and installing new ones. I frequently go on-site, meet with stakeholders, and build strong connections within the industry.

Originally, I pursued a nursing degree, but I had to withdraw due to some foot operations. Now, I’m a wheelchair user. Unfortunately, nursing wasn’t a viable option for me in a wheelchair. As a result, I re-evaluated my career path and spent nine months handling calls for the ambulance service.

I realised that I wanted a stable career with room for progression, especially since I have a 3-year-old daughter. Shift work wasn’t suitable for me, so I explored other opportunities. Fortunately, I stumbled upon this apprenticeship at South West Water, and I absolutely love it. The progression prospects are fantastic, and I’m fortunate to have great colleagues on this journey with me.

I don’t really see apprenticeships as competing with university or college. There are mature students who’ve already been to university, and for them, an apprenticeship might be the right choice at this time.

Why did you consider doing an apprenticeship over perhaps going to university or any other route?

What I value most about apprenticeships are the industry connections you make. This is where the real benefit lies. Working on various projects, I’ve had the chance to meet contractors and interact with regulators. These connections matter—they know who I am and how I work. It’s a direct line that you might not necessarily get in a university or college setting.

Importantly, apprenticeships provide an academic and professional pathway for many people who might not have had that opportunity due to their backgrounds. Whether it’s a disability or childcare responsibilities, apprenticeships offer an alternative route. I wouldn’t be able to return to university now, especially with the cost of full-time childcare—it’s just not practical.

Overall, I believe apprenticeships are an amazing option for anyone. They provide financial support while allowing you to gain academic knowledge and earn qualifications.

What’s your one top tip that you would give?

So, here’s a top tip for anyone considering an apprenticeship: Research is crucial. Understand your role, but also demonstrate your enthusiasm for learning. You don’t need to know everything about the industry upfront—realistically, who does? The true learning begins once you start the job. Be open to learning and eager to acquire new skills.

Additionally, try to connect your transferable skills. Even if it’s something as simple as a club you participated in during school—whether it was a drama or a Football Club—highlight it. Show how your communication abilities and team motivation from those experiences can benefit your workplace. This approach can significantly enhance your chances of securing the position.

What are the largest benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

The biggest benefits will probably be the people around you. You can pick at their brains and absorb all their knowledge. There’s no student debt. That’s another significant benefit.

What’s been the biggest highlight of your apprenticeship so far?

Being part of the industry opens up a lot of connections. I’m also a member of the South West Apprenticeship Ambassador Network (SWAAN), where I’ve met some amazing people—friends, really—who work in different industries. Another fortunate aspect for me has been school visits as a STEM ambassador and collaborating with SWAAN to work alongside the Department for Education. Recently, I attended one of the government launches for the Skills for Life campaign in London. Meeting ministers Robert Halfon and Gillian Keegan was an incredible experience. It felt like a journey of progression, and sharing my story to inspire others and build friendships has been amazing.

Additionally, I’ve been fortunate to receive awards and attend recognition events. Last year, I had the privilege of attending one or two such events, which were truly remarkable. These occasions took me to places like London and Bristol, where I had the opportunity to meet other inspiring individuals. Overall, it’s the people around you who truly make a difference. I feel incredibly lucky to have a great team at South West Water.

The biggest benefits will probably be the people around you. You can pick at their brains and absorb all their knowledge. There’s no student debt. That’s another significant benefit.
– Meg Ginsberg
Southwest Water, Assistant Project Manager on the Infrastructure Team

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