Bricklayer Casey Bougourd, 19, from Chopwell has been announced as the winner of a national apprentice award, the Festival of Learning’s Young Adult Learner Award 2018, for her exceptional achievement in adult learning.
The national apprentice award recognises the achievements of young individuals aged 18-25 who, through learning, have transformed their own lives and the lives of their families, friends, their communities and the places they work.
Casey’s journey began during an English lesson in year 11 at Thorp Academy in Ryton, where she observed building work to a recent school development and immediately decided she wanted to become a builder. Winning a national apprentice award was furthest from her mind.
“After leaving school I tried out a bricklaying course at Derwentside College and took to it like a fish to water. The trowel just felt perfect in my hand and I knew I’d found my ideal job. This is the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Casey.
A few months later Casey was offered her bricklaying and groundworks apprenticeship by Absolute Civil Engineering’s Commercial Manager Kevin Fenley who is delighted with her progress. Kevin said: “Casey is our first female apprentice. It is clear that Casey has the aspiration, motivation, discipline and the right attitude to succeed as a bricklayer and groundworker at Absolute Civil Engineering and winning this national apprentice award proves the point.”
Casey is now building sewer and drainage systems at sites around the North East and now aims to progress onto an Advanced level apprenticeship. Casey is also a Construction Course Ambassador, attending a variety of events and promoting women in construction.
Casey said: “I’ve achieved my goal of gaining an apprenticeship, as well as making a little history by winning this national apprentice award and creating a path for other women to follow. I love my job and the opportunities it is bringing.”
As part of the awards ceremony, the Festival of Learning organisation sent a film crew to capture a day in Casey’s learning and working life at ACE on film. Here’s a photographic snapshot of the day and a link to the finished video