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National Apprenticeship Week: Daniel McCarthy interview


For National Apprenticeship Week (5 – 11 February 2024) we’ve invited some of our apprentices to share their experiences. Keep reading to learn more about Daniel McCarthy, one of our outstanding apprentices based at our Govan-Partick Bridge project in Glasgow.

Danny McCarthy

How long have you been employed at Farrans?

I have been with Farrans since 2021 as an apprentice site engineer, starting straight from school as an 18-year-old. I had worked part-time in the summer with joiners and electricians, so I already had a little bit of experience from a young age. I started on BAE Systems with Farrans and helped complete the deep-water berth before moving to the Govan-Partick Bridge where I am currently based.

What does your workday as an apprentice look like?

My workday consists of doing a lot of the setting out on site for steel fixers, joiners, pliers, etc as well as helping to supervise our site, making sure that work is done safely with little risk. Most days I tend to learn something new and the site team we have at Govan-Partick is really helpful with this. They also push me with additional responsibility which I think is vital for a young engineer.

What is the most rewarding thing about your role?

I think seeing a job progress from start to finish is really rewarding, experiencing an area go from nothing to completing is very satisfying and gives you a proud feeling. Also, at the end of the apprenticeship getting a degree and having plenty of experience throughout will be very rewarding.

What is one thing about your job that most people wouldn’t expect?

As apprentices, we get given a lot of responsibility and with me, it has come on a high-profile job like Govan-Partick Bridge. We are trusted to set out vital areas of the project and are held to high standards at such early stages in our career. As we become more knowledgeable and gain more experience through our apprenticeship, we are treated like site engineers which helps set good standards for the future.

What advice would you give to someone interested in completing an apprenticeship in the construction industry?

It is 100% worth it, but it is not easy. You must put in double the work of a person completing the degree on its own but in the end, it will be so worth it. There will be times when you might get overwhelmed, but I remind myself of the end goal and it helps keep me motivated. You will also need to find a balance between personal time, work time, and university time which can be a real struggle.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Any hobbies or interests?

I play football and made the step up to the WOSFL (West of Scotland Football League) this season which is in the Scottish football pyramid. I spend 3 or 4 nights a week playing or training, so it is a big part of my life, and helps me relax outside of work and university studies.

One thing that you are proud of?

I am proud of myself for becoming an engineer. In my last few years of school that was always the goal, and I am close to now completing it. There have been times when I have struggled to balance my work and personal life, but I have overcome the problems faced and kept going. I am sure I will face more problems on the way but I have a great site team and family around me that keep pushing me!