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DCG Success Stories

Elliot Poplar

Elliott Poplar holding his T Level results celebrating, wearing a hi-vis vest.

Study Type: School Leaver Vocational
Study Location: The Roundhouse
Subject Studied: Professional Construction

T-level leads to civil engineering degree apprenticeship for Elliot.

As part of his two-year professional construction course at college  – the equivalent of taking three A-levels – Elliot spent two days a week on placement with Danaher & Walsh in Leicestershire. 

And, after completing his T Level with a distinction, he’s since been taken on as a degree apprentice by the civil engineering business. 

Elliot, who starts his degree later this month, will study part-time over five years, attending the University of Derby one day a week and learning on the job the rest of the week.  

He said: “It’s going to mean studying at weekends and some evenings but it will be worth it. 

“I’m glad I did the T level. I enjoyed the setting out and CAD parts of my  course the most and I liked the way everything we learned at college such as the maths, directly related to what we were doing at work.

“My course was so different to anything I’d done at school.  I’m sure I wouldn’t have got this job, and the chance to study for a degree while earning, without the work experience I got on my T Level.” 

Mark Hedges, Contracts Manager (Central) with Danaher & Walsh Ltd – sits on DCG’s employment skills in construction board and is keen to further the company’s links with the College. 

He said: “I live in Derby and approached DCG last year about offering work experience placements. We’ve provided them to university students on sandwich courses before but taking on younger students is fairly new to us.

“It’s working out well. We currently have one other student from Derby College: a female T Level student.  

“As a business we are keen to support DCG going forward with Professional Construction placement students, and site visits etc.  

“Elliot is doing well. As with all our students, we started him on site working one-to-one with a site engineer.

“He’s now on site at a development project in Rotherham and just three months into his apprenticeship he’s able to set out the site on his own.” 

Elliot, whose father is a general builder, would ultimately like to work as a site engineer or site agent. 

He added: “I went out on  jobs with my dad sometimes when I was young and I always knew I wanted to do something in building.

“I just wasn’t sure what until I discovered the T Level and the chance to gain practical work experience.” 

I’m sure I wouldn’t have got this job, and the chance to study for a degree while earning, without the work experience I got on my T Level.