National Apprenticeship Week


09 Feb 2021

National Apprenticeship Week

8 – 14 February is National Apprenticeship Week. We’re celebrating some of the fantastic apprentices we’ve got working in roads and construction in the region.

Seven apprentices started work last September during the pandemic across multiple Highways England road projects in the North East. This is the first time that apprentices have been able to work across so many projects in a region and gives a unique learning opportunity.

The North East apprenticeship programme is being provided in partnership with Costain who are delivering the road improvements on behalf of Highways England. Employing apprentices from the region has been a key focus - with so much roads investment underway in the North East the programme really has the potential to capitalise on the skills opportunity.  

Apprentice roles on the projects are varied, ranging from civil engineering to quantity surveying, business administration and many more. Starting in September, in the middle of Covid-19 restrictions has certainly been challenging, but the apprentices have still been able to get out on site and shadow engineers and other staff working on the schemes.

The three schemes they’re currently working across are:

Louise Pavitt, Highways England’s Regional Delivery Director, said:

“Providing skills and learning opportunities is extremely important to Highways England. We not only run our own apprenticeship programme, but we also support supplier programmes such as this – providing a whole range of opportunities. It’s really great to hear how well the apprentices are getting on.”

Two of the apprentices have come from the University Technical College (UTC), South Durham and still have strong links with the college. They’ve recently been back to talk to students about their experiences on the apprenticeship scheme as part of Costain’s industry partner sponsorship of the UTC.

Land surveyor apprentice Kaif Dad enrolled in a quantity surveying course at university when his A levels were cancelled due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said:

“I am currently shadowing two Senior Land Surveyors, and they have helped me to progress to a stage where I am sent out on my own to work. I have learnt how to setup and do a full job with the digital surveying equipment within three months of being at Costain. I hope to develop further with Costain and be a role model to  future apprentices.”

Costain’s programme director Mal Bell commented:

“The Highways England roads development programme in the North East provides a fantastic opportunity for delivery integration partners like Costain and the supply chain to offer apprenticeships, attracting bright, young local people into the industry. We are particularly pleased to be able to offer the opportunity for apprentices to work across multiple schemes and get varied and interesting experience working on highways projects.”

If you’re thinking about an apprenticeship with Highways England and the roads sector there are lots of opportunities to find out more.

Visit Highways England’s apprenticeship page where you can register for webinars during National Apprenticeship Week.

Join the Learn Live or Jobs Live channel between 8-14 February to hear real stories from apprentices.