Matthew, 22, of Bishop Auckland, who studied business, ICT and applied science at A level, before taking a degree in business management at Teesside University, said: “My uncle is a project manger and he’d given me some career advice and my granddad was a plumber, which inspired me to want to work with my hands, but I also wanted something that would incorporate my business degree.”
At his weekly football practice Matthew met Dan Parker, managing director of Aspect Fascades, a local roofing, cladding and architectural facade company providing commercial and project management services.
“He told me that he was starting his own business and would be looking for a trainee project manager, which sounded just what I was looking for,” said Matthew.
Following a successful interview, Matthew secured the role, which also involved enrolling at Darlington College on the HNC Building Studies course.
“The course is great and really gives me an insight into different roles within construction,” said Matthew.
“It gives me a lot of confidence being taught by tutors who have all worked in the industry.
“And at the end of the two years I will have the option to do a degree in project management or quantity surveying which will open a lot of doors for me.”
Dan, 30, of Bishop Auckland, who also studied a National Certificate and HNC in Building Studies at Darlington College, added: “I was looking for someone with a lot of hunger to learn and someone who wanted a career not just a job.
“After working for a number of roofing, cladding and construction companies over the years I knew I wanted to start my own business so was looking for a trainee and Matthew fit the bill perfectly; he is spot on, asks the right questions and works hard.
“The options are open to Matthew to decide which areas of construction he would like to specialise in and I know the college will help him pinpoint whether that will be commercial or project management, quantity surveying or even a more technical role.”