ITS (UK) celebrates National Apprenticeship Week and the opportunities for young people in the sector

February 05 2020

To mark National Apprenticeship Week (3-9 February), ITS (UK) is highlighting the great work of its members in giving training and opportunities to talented young people.

National Apprenticeship Week is an annual celebration of apprenticeships, bringing the whole apprentice community together to celebrate the impact of apprenticeships on individuals, employers and the economy.

“Due to a medical condition I left school at 14 with no GCSEs.  However, when I was 25, I decided that I would take them in evening classes alongside a day release engineering course,” says Transportation Apprentice at AECOM, Lynsey Michelle Turner.

“I am now a Transport Planning apprentice and was a second-place runner up for the Regional Apprentice of the Year awards gaining “Highly Commended” status with the CIHT.  I am learning ArcGIS and SATURN modelling and hope to eventually undertake a Transport Planning Degree as an advanced apprentice.”

At fellow member Atkins, Joel Shevlin is also an apprentice transport planner.  “Having worked in factories as a welder and brewer for Heineken, I wanted to change up my career and so I started an apprenticeship for a company with a great reputation,” he explains. “It was important for me that I had clarity over career progression, in which I could gain new skills and develop my character. I’ve been fortunate to work on some fantastic transport projects that will eventually contribute improving people’s lives. Throughout my apprenticeship, I have developed my confidence, gained friends and reignited my love for learning new things. I work for a company that has encouraged me to push my barriers and take on more and more responsibilities. My career highlight is winning Atkins Advanced Apprentice of the Year 2019.”

WSP has a wide and advanced apprenticeship programme too.  Oliver Malone is a Lighting and Energy Solution Undergraduate Engineer (ITS) who chose an apprenticeship instead of going straight to university after his A-Levels.  “Being able to gain a BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering while gaining valuable industry experience just made more sense,” he explains. “After looking online for apprenticeships in the engineering sector, I came across WSP and reading some of the previous apprentices’ experiences, I could tell this was a place I would enjoy working.

“From the very first day since joining WSP I’ve been involved in numerous live projects assisting engineers. My role has involved supporting my team with project related deliverables including scheme drawings, calculations, problem-solving, working to deadlines and visiting site to survey the area.”

In WSP’s Manchester office, Shaun Bardsley is also learning Lighting and Energy Solution Technology.  “Being stuck in a classroom for six hours a day was something I always struggled with,” he says. “I’ve always been someone who is an active learner and likes to be hands-on, so having the opportunity to work and get a qualification alongside through an apprenticeship was the perfect route for me.

“From the very first day I joined WSP I’ve been involved in numerous live projects assisting engineers, from the M62 Smart Motorway to more local jobs around Greater Manchester. Seeing a scheme that you’ve worked hard on be built and used by the public has been very rewarding as it shows I’m having an impact on the society we live in.”

“These stories are not only uplifting, but exciting for the future of our industry,” comments ITS (UK) Secretary General Jennie Martin.  “These apprentices show the future of our industry is in good hands and further illustrates how our members are helping to shape the future, not only through the technology they design and use, but through the people they develop.  ITS (UK) demonstrates its commitment to the future workforce through its Young Professionals Forum and these four apprentices are great assets to all members.”

The next ITS (UK) Young Professionals Forum meeting will be in Leeds on 25 March.

(Picture L-R Joel, Ollie, Lynsey and Shaun.)

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