The specialist’s apprentice – a job with a view

Not everyone would turn down a place at university to join the cleaning industry, but as his apprenticeship comes to an end, Ross Hayward, Safety Administrator at CAM Specialist Support, has no regrets for having done just that.

Although academic qualifications are not a prerequisite to get on CAM’s apprenticeship programme, having gained A-Levels in Mathematics, Biology, English Literature and Drama, Ross was clearly the sort of recruit CAM Specialist Support is trying to appeal to as it seeks to attract and retain quality staff to work in the cleaning industry.

Ross said: “On completion of my A-Levels, I was preparing to begin my studies at the University of Bristol. I eventually came to the conclusion that I would benefit more from pursuing a career through an apprenticeship. I wanted to test myself outside of the academic bubble, and develop new skills by working side-by-side with the experts. Although turning down a place at university may seem bizarre, my view is that as long as you are committed to professional development and learning, whichever pathway you choose will be the right one.

“My work at CAM is interesting and challenging. Despite being an apprentice, the work I do carries a large amount of legislatively-driven responsibility. While continuing to study and build upon my knowledge of health and safety legislation, I spend most of my time producing risk assessments and responding to customers’ health and safety enquiries. As well as the administrative aspects of my job, I take time to visit sites and carry out inspections. For example, I recently visited the roof area of a site in Kings Cross prior to the commencement of an abseiling task. Not only did this give me an insight into the practicality of abseiling, it also gave me the opportunity to view London from a perspective that few people are able to; not many classrooms compare.”

Things continue to look up for Ross as Tim Jones, Director at working at height specialists, CAM Specialist Support, explained: “We’ve been delighted with the progress Ross has made over the past year. He’s a real asset to the team and we look forward to working with him for years to come. The cleaning industry is a place of real opportunity for people like Ross – we believe he’ll be running the safety department in the not-too-distant future.”

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