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A different route to success

Four of our U.K Apprentices share how their journeys into the industry are shaping their success for the future.

Leaving school, Chris Meredith wasn’t sure what he wanted to do for a career. To find the answer, he embarked on various career paths but when none of these suited his skills and strengths, he began to look for another route.

“A Business, Technology and Education Council (BTEC) qualification appealed to me as it combined the educational elements with the relevant practical skills and experience needed for work,” explains Chris. “I really enjoyed and was good at the BTEC course I chose in civil engineering and the built environment, and was inspired to pursue an apprenticeship.” Chris began his apprenticeship with Jacobs and is now progressing his degree apprenticeship.

Recently recognized with the Pearson BTEC Award for 19+ Apprentice of the Year, BTEC Student of the Year 2019 Award, and Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) QUEST Technician Plus Scholarship 2019, Chris wants to share his success as a means of helping others. “The advice I would give to others is don’t let your current qualifications stop you from pursuing your future choices – there are options available for all and with hard work and determination you can achieve great things.” Chris has now achieved EngTech status with the ICE.

Civil, Structural and Architectural Apprentice Annabel Watson is the first in the country to successfully complete her End Point Assessment leading to a full Nuclear Technician Foundation Degree Apprenticeship.

Speaking about her training Annabel said: “Since completing the Foundation Degree, I have found that I have been able to tackle more complicated engineering tasks. It has also given me the opportunity to progress onto a full BEng Honours Degree.”

Following his decision to change career, Senior Technician Luke Hawkins embarked upon an apprenticeship in civil engineering at Jacobs. Three years on, in addition to excelling in his studies and gaining his EngTech with ICE, Luke has received the Higher National Student of the Year Award from Leeds College of Building.

“I saw an apprenticeship as a second chance at finding a career that I would enjoy, find challenging and enable me to support my family and provide a life for them that I didn’t have growing up,” explains Luke. “It's never too late to begin a new career; apprenticeships are a great way of doing this, and Jacobs is a great company to do an apprenticeship with.”

19-year-old Rebecca Roberts was first introduced to Jacobs in 2018 when she took part in the Industrial Cadets work experience program. During the week she met engineers across different disciplines and undertook work experience with the highways and structures departments at Jacobs’ office in Stockton.

“The week gave me a great insight into different disciplines and sectors within engineering at Jacobs and allowed me to demonstrate some of my abilities,” Rebecca explained. “The program really helped me to refine what I was most interested in and I decided to look at a career path in civil engineering.”

Rebecca recently started a degree apprenticeship in civil engineering while working in the Jacobs Highways team and would later like to complete a master’s degree in Civil Engineering and become a chartered engineer.

Jacobs currently has around 55 employees on a level 6 degree apprenticeship in the U.K. and Ireland who work on live projects within multi-disciplinary teams, building meaningful skills to really establish their careers. We're currently training more than 850 apprentices, technicians and graduates across the U.K.

Jacobs’ apprentices are guided to professional registration through practical, ‘on-the-job’ development, fully supported by mentors from day one. They are integrated into our business, undertaking structured learning through a mixture of formal classroom, workshop, office and site placements.

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