Josh Mims
Meet one of National Grid’s Project Management Apprentices, Josh Mims

How did you get into the apprenticeship scheme at National Grid?

I’ve been an apprentice with National Grid for five months now. After completing a two-year engineering course at Kingston College, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and covid made entering the workplace difficult. Eventually, I found National Grid’s Project Management apprenticeship. I never thought I would get the job, but after a rigorous application process I was accepted for the role and it’s been absolutely brilliant!

What kind of work do you do as an apprentice?

At National Grid no two weeks look the same, but generally my time is split between practical learning on site and training for my Project Management Qualification. In a normal week I have three or four days training with my supervisors and subcontractor staff on completing audits, site rounds and carrying out safety assessments. My other two days are spent studying towards my project management exams and completing any written work set by my supervisors.

What is the most challenging/rewarding part of your role?

As an apprentice you are pushed completely outside of your comfort zone. At 19 years old there aren’t many jobs which allow you to get involved in billion-pound projects such as London Power Tunnels – it can be a daunting prospect! As a Project Management Apprentice, you are often tasked with overseeing audits for teams who have far greater experience, and we give presentations to those in the industry who are older and wiser which can be intimidating. No-one is going to babysit you, but everyone is always willing to help you if you put the work in and ask questions. Ultimately, everyone wants you to succeed and will invest in your development.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship with National Grid to others?

Yes! I never thought I would have the qualifications to pursue this line of work. Before I started my apprenticeship, I had no experience with project management. My apprenticeship has opened so many doors and can translate into lots of different areas. I have also been able to earn during my education which I couldn’t have done at university.

How would you encourage more people to pursue STEM subjects?

The projects that National Grid carry out are so exciting. They have a big impact and will do for years to come. London Power Tunnels, for example, will completely change the way electricity is delivered around London and will leave a lasting legacy. Being involved in these massive projects at 19 is incredible. It’s opened so many doors for me and I have been able to earn in the process which I couldn’t have done at university.

What advice would you give those considering a career in construction or engineering?

I think you need to accept that it won’t be comfortable. It’s challenging but all you need is a positive attitude and an appetite for learning. I was incredibly nervous going into the apprenticeship, but I never knew how much confidence I would gain in the process. You might not always succeed on your first try but when you persevere it pays off!