The real apprentice: meet Mitch

IMAGE: Mitch is earning while studying for his level 2 scaffolder qualification

This week is National Apprenticeship Week, when the education and skills sector celebrates the achievements of apprentices around the country and their contribution to businesses, communities and the wider economy.

Here at Canada Water, we have supported over 60 people learning and earning as apprentices. We caught up with 21-year-old local Mitch to find out how Canada Water Connect helped him get onto a Scaffolder (level 2) apprenticeship course and launch a new career on the development.

 “I live in Bermondsey, so Canada Water’s literally down the road,” says Mitch. His family moved to the area when he was eight years old to be near his nan, and he’s seen how the place has changed as he’s grown up. “They put up the library when I was in primary school,” he recalls.

Mitch was studying plumbing at college, but when Covid hit, it turned a hands-on, practical course into something much more desk based. “They started giving us more and more written work and I got fed up with it.”

Canada Water Connect, who link people with the opportunities being created by the Canada Water development, offered Mitch a route into a career that suits his skills. “My friend put me in touch, and I started talking to their Employment and Skills Manager Ian Walker,” he says. “It was really quick. From me to talking to him, to starting the job, I believe took two weeks. I went for an interview on the Friday and I started work on the Monday.”

Canada Water Connect were a big help during the application process. “Putting words together is not really my thing,” says Mitch. “I had a phone call from Ian and he helped me to phrase it in a way that was needed for my application. Ian was brilliant, the whole process was a good experience.”

Mitch was hired as an apprentice by Benchmark Scaffolding. He went straight to work on Plot A2, operated by our contractor Mace, who have been building the new Canada Water Leisure Centre on the site along with space for workspace and retail at what will be known as Three Deal Porters.

“This is the best job I’ve ever had,” says Mitch. “I love it. I’m learning and I’m going to different places every day – I’ve never liked sitting in the same place.”

“I’m interested in the process of how the scaffolding goes up. You see within two weeks how much progress you can make. It’s quite satisfying to see what you can achieve if you really put your mind to it.”

Mitch is working towards his level 2 scaffolder qualification, learning how to work safely, erect a variety of scaffold structures and interpret information from drawings and specifications, among other skills. “Once I’ve got that, I’ll be able to do everything [as part of a supervised team]”, he says. Looking to the future, Mitch can see himself progressing to a level 3 qualification that will enable him to work unsupervised on complex structures.

As a long-term resident of the area, Mitch is excited about what the development will for Canada Water. “I’ve seen the plans, and I think it’s going to make the area a lot more modern,” he says.

To find out how Canada Water Connect can help you access apprenticeships, jobs and other opportunities being created by the Canada Water development, visit or email [email protected]

All News & Events