Scottish Apprenticeship Week - Project Manager

Friday, 4 March 2022

Scottish Apprenticeship Week - Project Manager

Jamie Shepherd – Project Manager

Jamie has taken not just one but two apprenticeships with Normand and Thomson, he started out with the company in 2013 as a first-year apprentice pipefitter, and through hard work and determination, he qualified as a Project Manager and has been successfully running projects since. We sat down with Jamie to reflect on his time with Normand and Thomson from starting out to managing large projects and what advice he would give to younger apprentices.

Q. How did you get to hear about the apprenticeship?

A. From leaving school I was working at Mossmorran, it was an ex-employee of Normand and Thomson that suggested I went for the apprenticeship, recommending the company and praising their apprenticeship programme.

Q. Why did you decide on an apprenticeship?

A. There was no progression in the job I was doing, and no one can take your trade away from you.

Q. Was learning a trade always the plan?

A. Throughout high school I had never even thought about getting a trade or an apprenticeship, I wanted to be a Pilot or work with planes in some capacity, I never thought I would be a pipefitter.

Q. Was being a project manager in your head as you progressed with your apprenticeship?

A. Initially at the beginning of my apprenticeship it wasn’t something I had thought about, however, to the latter it was definitely the goal. At the end of my second year, I had been approached about the possibility of coming into the office once I had completed my apprenticeship, so from that point, I knew that was my plan.

Q. Do you have a single highlight from your working career so far?

A. Finishing up my apprenticeship was a highlight, to make it to the end, and then being asked to move into the office. I also enjoyed the social aspect, especially when working away at various different sites, there is a family vibe within the company.

Q. What would be your advice to younger apprentices or those who are thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

A. If you’re thinking about it doing an apprenticeship then I would say 100% go for it, you will only regret not doing something about it.

Advice for the younger apprentices would be to ask questions, don’t be shy. Make sure you stick in, if you come across a hurdle don’t avoid it, ask questions until you have an understanding - There is no such thing as a silly question, and everyone is more than happy to help. Most importantly be safe, you’re learning in a working environment, it could be potentially dangerous, don’t be led astray.

Our customers are at the centre of our business. Building lasting relationships by delivering excellent service and great quality is what we do.