In an industry facing an ongoing skills gap and tackling significant challenges such as Climate Change, Bouygues Energies & Services, an Equans company, remains committed to attracting the next generation of talented engineers into the business and investing in our people who wish to upskill through the apprenticeship programme. With almost 30 new apprentices comprising those who have just joined the business and those upskilling, we proudly work with almost 90 apprentices studying various levels between 2 and 7.
However, this important and highly valued training programme is not just for prospective engineers, but for a wide variety of roles, such as accountants or estimators to mention but a few.
During the week, we’ll be shining the light on employees who are either undertaking or have undertaken an apprenticeship to showcase how they are or have benefitted from the programme, why the combination of hands-on work and training is appealing, and what words of encouragement they would impart to anyone thinking of taking this route to kick start or progress their careers.
Mahaela Harrison, an Electrical Maintenance Engineer for Bouygues Energies & Services, an Equans company, reflects on her apprenticeship, particularly the support she received from her manager during and after completion:
“I had a very supportive manager, who listened and continued to bring out the best in me through the good and challenging times of my apprenticeship. A veteran in his profession, who now is my mentor, has provided me with a lot of technical wisdom and advice."
Having had a strong interest in Maths and Science since she was a little girl, Mahaela has always found engineering intriguing. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to an ever-evolving industry, such as the built environment, she continues:
“Although my career journey has led to what I have always been passionate about, there are a lot of different opportunities available in this industry and although, known to be male-dominated, there are equal opportunities for both men and women, whether that is on the tools or not.”
Sam Henshall, Bouygues Energies & Services, an Equans company, CAD Apprentice added:
“I studied engineering in school and really enjoyed it and from then on I knew I wanted to do something linked to engineering as it piqued my interest. Working at Bouygues Energies & Services has been a really positive experience for me as it’s allowed me to work and learn at the same time. Moreover, the CAD team are great and my mentors are very supportive.”
Although apprenticeships can give people a good head start in their careers, they can also provide an opportunity to change career paths no matter your age, as Steve Lemmer, Apprentice Electrician, explains:
“I chose to upskill through an apprenticeship to expand my skillset and qualify in my chosen trade. When I started at Bouygues Energies & Services, I was a Premises Offices, but realised that I was good at fixing things, which led to me being given the opportunity to do an apprenticeship. I am 47 years old, and it just shows that age doesn’t matter – you just have to push yourself and take the jump.”
There is no doubt that an apprenticeship can be a driver for ongoing career progression. Adrian Fortescue, Regional Director for Bouygues Energies & Services, an Equans company, is a testament to just that:
“Vocational training through an apprenticeship route offered me the best of both worlds both academic study through block release and on the job training and experience. Now at director level, I would say to anyone considering an apprenticeship to not hesitate. With an excellent grounding in a chosen subject and an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the industry as well as valuable experience from being with other experienced engineers, it is a great way to develop your career path!”
Alan Miller, Operations Director of Cleanroom and Pharmaceutical at Bouygues Energies & Services Contracting, concludes:
“I completed my apprenticeship in Thermal Insulation Engineering many years ago. I found gaining experience and practical knowledge of a trade invaluable and I firmly believe you are better placed to be considered for promotion through the managerial ranks. I'm currently Operations Director of Cleanrooms and Pharmaceutical and I feel an apprenticeship set me up to get to the position I'm in today. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone thinking of doing it, you'll get hands on experience and the opportunities are endless.”