Spotlight on Arup apprentices for National Apprenticeship Week 2017

With the Chancellor set to “address the productivity challenge” and “deal with the skills gap” in tomorrow’s Budget, post-16 education reform and training is in the spotlight this week.

National Apprentice week 2017.
National Apprentice week 2017.

Apprenticeships provide an unrivalled opportunity to put your skills to the test and your imagination to work on inspiring, high-profile projects, combining work and study to gain qualifications alongside practical experience.

Civil engineering is a fantastic career for those interested in helping people and shaping the world around them. Civil engineering apprentices can work in a variety of roles from water and energy supply to designing roads, bridges, railways and airports. They can also be involved in waste recycling and finding solutions to problems like pollution.

ICE Director General, Nick Baveystock said: "An engineering apprenticeship offers the chance to work in an exciting industry, gain a recognised qualification and develop professional skills, all while earning a salary. Apprenticeships strengthen economic productivity as well, and to realise the aspirations set out in the UK government's Industrial Strategy, it is essential for employers to grow their own workforce.

"Continued support for apprenticeships from politicians is welcome, but it is important apprenticeship schemes in engineering are of a good quality and provide access to professional qualifications, such as the industry standard Engineering Technician qualification."

"Government support for the Trailblazers scheme - where groups of employers club together to set tailored, rigorous standards to develop apprentices – has been invaluable, and we look forward to a speeded up approval process when the new Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education starts work. We are pleased that schools are now being encouraged to play their part by communicating the wide range of Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) paths now available, and welcome the focus on improving careers guidance set out in the Industrial Strategy."

Molly McKenzie, Regional Director ICE East Midlands and West Midlands said: "With large projects such as HS2 coming to the Midlands we will need to increase the number of skilled engineers and technicians of all levels. Companies like Arup are recruiting and training young engineers to help them deliver this crucial infrastructure which it is hoped will bring major economic benefits to our region."

Colin Stewart, Regional Leader at Arup said: "We are committed to developing people at all levels within the organisation, providing a learning environment that is both flexible and suited to young people who have fresh ideas and thinking. These individuals have an opportunity to develop a long and successful career representing the next generation of professionals in the region."

Here are some stories from five of Arup's Midlands-based apprentices describing why they chose an apprenticeship and what they love about their jobs.

Why choose an Apprenticeship?

Fran Leonard

Fran Leonard

Age: 16
Role: Transport Planning Apprentice

Why did I choose an apprenticeship?
After school I wanted to learn as well as work. I loved the idea of working on a project that is more than just theory, but something that will be eventually be built. An apprenticeship was a good opportunity to become part of a company and begin my career.

What I enjoy most about my role?
I enjoy knowing my work is benefiting and shaping our future. Knowing that what I am working on will one day be built and I can feel pride that I helped to make/design it.

What are my future career plans?
I hope to progress through Arup which is a large international company. One day I would like to be a manager and work with clients to deliver world class infrastructure.

Vincent Jay-Record

Vincent Jay-Record

Age: 18
Role: Finance Apprentice

Why did I choose an apprenticeship?
I chose an apprenticeship because it gave me the opportunity to continue my studies and further my education, as well as gaining the relevant work experience, so I could apply what I am learning and progress in my profession.

What I enjoy most about my role?
I enjoy supporting my team members and providing colleagues with financial information and advice.

What are my future career plans?
I look forward to developing my skills further within Arup and I would also like to work towards a degree that will support my experience within the finance sector.

Jess Smith

Jess Smith

Age: 18
Role: Building Services Apprentice

Why did I choose an apprenticeship?
Working as an engineering apprentice interested me as I liked the idea of being part of challenging and innovative projects whilst also learning from them. I feel that the most effective way of learning how to do something is to experience it for yourself; an apprenticeship seemed like the perfect way of doing this.

What I enjoy most about my role?
My favourite part of my role is the wide variety of work I get to experience and being able to work with so many different people on projects. I enjoy knowing that we are helping to make a positive difference to our future.

What are my future career plans?
I would like to eventually obtain my qualifications to become a trained engineer and progress through Arup. I hope to continue working on amazing projects within the company that will help to shape a better future.

James Stone

James Stone

Age: 20
Role: Civil Engineering Technician Apprentice

Why did I choose an apprenticeship?
I chose to apply for a civil engineering apprenticeship as I wanted a challenging, exciting career in which I could play a role in alleviating some of the legacy issues affecting our infrastructure for the benefit of future generations.

What I enjoy most about my role?
The most enjoyable part of my role is that every day provides different challenges! I enjoy the fact that the input I give applies directly to live projects. Whilst I am still in education, I am continuing to learn and therefore able to apply these new skills to my job and help improve the way I work. I get great job satisfaction seeing my designs constructed.

What are my future career plans?
I am very committed to my goal of becoming a Chartered Civil Engineer. Once I have completed my BTEC Level 3 Apprenticeship I will then progress onto the Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering.

Matthew Gough

Matthew Gough

Age: 21
Role: Rail Technician Apprentice

Why did I choose an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship offered me a route into working within the Engineering industry. I develop my skills from people who actually know the industry and I can take that experience and knowledge into my studies accordingly.

What I enjoy most about my role?
At the moment I am working with High Speed 2 on their Phase 2A project, developing an alignment with associated Environmental and Construction works along the route. This has helped me develop into a CAD Technician where I interact with different levels of the Industry.

What are my future career plans?
I would like to finish my studies as a Level 3 Apprentice and become an Assistant Technician, and then go onto a HNC that allows me to step into the 3rd Year of a Foundation Degree, to then become an engineer.

Visit the National Apprenticeship Week website

Read more about ICE Technician membership

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