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An apprenticeship gives you great hands-on skills

06 February 2020

Undergraduate structural engineer Katie McQuade says starting an apprenticeship was the best route for her to be able to gain all the necessary hands-on skills.

An apprenticeship gives you great hands-on skills

I started as an apprentice structural engineer in 2017 within the Property and Building sector of WSP. Starting an apprenticeship was the best route for me as I have been able to gain all the hands-on skills whilst improving my knowledge and understanding of the job. Attending College/University whilst getting the necessary on the job skills has helped me to develop well in my career.

The overall picture

Throughout the two years of being an apprentice I have managed to work on multiple different projects and with different teams, learning about the different ways we construct and design buildings. This has helped me to appreciate civil engineering as a whole a lot more than I used too before I started as an apprentice.


Working as a team and having a good environment around me in my office has helped me to already achieve two of my main goals. I have achieved the Quest Technician Scholarship from the ICE and I have also gained my Engineering Technician Qualification through the ICE.

I am now working towards my BEng Hons in Civil Engineering and my Incorporated Engineer Qualification. Hopefully I'll go on to sit my Masters in Structural Engineering then become Chartered.

Being on an apprenticeship and surrounded by such a good team has pushed me to want to constantly achieve more in my career. All of this is a big part as to why I am also a STEM ambassador for WSP and the ICE.

With my experiences of the past two years, knowing what can be achieved in such a short space of time with the right attitude, gives me a lot of optimism. I have a strong team of engineers around me and the motivation to achieve these goals. I can also pass down my knowledge and help to encourage the younger generation which gives me a lot more pride in my profession.

Find out more

Discover more about civil engineering apprenticeships and how ICE can help you.

Visit apprenticeship hub