Five Minutes with Vytautas Bublys – an apprentice at Lewisham Gateway

19.01.24 5 min read by Iona MacRury

At Lewisham Gateway, Muse has been working tirelessly to deliver a new neighbourhood which delivers lasting benefits to the wider community in Lewisham.

A significant part of this work has been by ensuring the local community are at the heart of Lewisham Gateway’s construction.

Vytautas Bublys was a Lewisham resident when he became one of the many apprentices to take advantage of the opportunities provided by this transformative regeneration project.

Working with contractor Madigan Gill, Vytautas has been employed on an apprenticeship scheme since November 2022. With only one more exam to go, we spoke with Vytautas to learn more about his experience on the project and discover how the knowledge and skills he has developed will help him further his own career.

Originally from Lithuania before becoming a Lewisham resident, Vytautas has previous experience as a labourer. After a short time on the project, he had the opportunity to undertake a Waste Management apprenticeship at Lewisham Gateway – an opportunity he quickly took up.

Vytautas has enjoyed the apprenticeship, largely because of the variety of tasks and work he is given, saying that he is “always on the move.” He also receives a great deal of motivation from the increasing leadership responsibilities given to him – he now reports directly to the manager on site to help make sure that others have completed their own tasks correctly. Throughout his apprenticeship, Vytautas has also connected with a diverse and engaging mix of colleagues, constantly meeting new people with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

Emilio Gardeta, Project Director at Balfour Beatty said:

Apprentices are a vital part of our business, and we believe in supporting people in all stages of their career to develop their skills and confidence. ”
Lewisham Gateway, Lewisham
We are proud of the opportunities we, and our suppliers, have offered people at the Lewisham Gateway project. Vytautas has added so much to the scheme and is an asset to Madigan Gill and the construction industry’. ”

Beyond the trade skills provided through the apprenticeship is a focus on broader life skills, including through enhancing participants’ maths and literacy skills. Originally from Lithuania, English is Vytautas’s second language. “The course has helped to improve my literacy skills a lot” he says. Vytautas says that his increased literacy and communication skills are helping him to progress with his career.

Indeed, the apprenticeship has offered him opportunity to closely interact with senior members of staff. Through this, he has been developing not only his formal literacy abilities but also wider professional skills, including learning how to write professional emails and use Excel. These opportunities have allowed Vytautas to set his sights high in taking on greater responsibility on the project.

Vytautas has also taken value from learning more about incorporating sustainability into construction. Throughout his apprenticeship, he has discovered how complex regeneration schemes can reduce their environmental impact through recycling waste materials. Together, these opportunities have meant a great deal to Vytautas, who says that apprenticeship has equipped him well for whatever comes next, giving him greater prospects for his future.

But what about for Lewisham itself? Vytautas is clear – it will have a positive impact on the community.  He says that the new neighbourhood will play a key role in creating opportunities for local people, including through helping to catalyse further development and economic activity, enabling more local people to access jobs in the area.

Lewisham Gateway, Lewisham

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