Skip to main content
European Vocational Skills Week
News announcement30 October 2020Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Re-starting from the bottom


© 2020, Mark Fitzgerald

At the age of 29, I made the difficult decision to change careers and begin an apprenticeship. Having previously worked as a landscaper and gardener I had always enjoyed working with my hands and had never shied away from hard work. I was keenly aware of the perception that certain services are essential, whilst others are a luxury and after a long winter, with little to do, I made the tough decision to start again.
I chose plumbing as my apprenticeship route as I thought it would be a skill that I could always find work in. I recognised that Designer Group had a number of apprentices from different career backgrounds and that they valued an individual’s experience, regardless of their age. DG also have an in-house Training Academy, which I acknowledged and it was a significant benefit.
Naturally I had to start from the bottom and work my way up, often being asked to carry out routine work. Rather than letting it get me down I threw myself into the tasks and earned a decent name as a hard worker. Throughout my apprenticeship I have had great support from DG, from internal training courses, to representing the company at various events, without DG I would never experienced this.