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Sam Neilsen

Sam Neilsen

I am a Concrete Conservation Apprentice within the Engineering team. I am learning different repair techniques and also about concrete construction. I am learning a lot of different skills from working with Engineering.

I was studying plumbing in college and was coming to the end of my third year, whilst I had college 2 days a week, and some days I would help my Dad build the concrete house that he is currently building. He talked me through it and some of the good characteristics of concrete. Whilst working there I learnt a lot and when I saw this job come up on the college 'job shop', I saw a great opportunity to widen my knowledge of concrete. It is a big thing in my family to work in such an iconic building in London.

My favourite thing since starting is just working here and getting to know my colleagues and the staff in the building.

I have been given a lot of support that I’ve needed being dyslexic and I have learnt a lot of different aspects of different trades. I have also been on an asbestos training course; asbestos was used in the construction of the building and I may come into contact with it doing the sort of work that I do. By the end of my apprenticeship I will have a Level 3 qualification in Concrete Conservation.

Everyone at the National is so friendly. I like how everyone tries to help others as much as they can. Everyone feels like the show can’t go on without their department. In my eyes apprenticeships are the way forward, learning on site, doing what you’re learning rather than sitting in a classroom.

My future plans are to learn as many skills as possible, with the ability to build and help the construction of building, to restore buildings to their former glory. With this apprenticeship I am able to learn the skills needed to restore concrete buildings, and other types of buildings because of the trades I am working with inside of the National.