• Safer Highways

Inspiring our future engineers

Kirstie Jones,

Head of HR for Transport Infrastructure


It’s well documented that the transport sector has a shortage in skills and diversity when it comes to attracting new talent to the industry. In the grasps of a global pandemic that is raising youth unemployment, many young people are looking again at their options and towards businesses that can offer a safe pair of hands to nurture their career choices – a key opportunity for our sector to invest and attract new talent through its doors.

At Amey we’re committed to inspiring and engaging early on through building a series of young person programmes and developing routes into employment that are easily and widely accessible. We want to give everyone the opportunity to perform, whatever their background or experience, providing leading employment opportunities in local communities, with an emphasis on supporting young people into employment - whether that’s as a graduate, an apprentice or on a placement.

In Amey Consulting and in partnership with several universities, this year we launched four fully funded degree apprenticeship programmes to help bring new talent into the industry across Civil Engineering, Data Science and Environmental & Sustainability. These programmes will sit alongside Amey Consulting’s award-winning Rail degree apprentice programme which has launched again for its second successive year.

The programmes, that start in May and September are aimed at school and college leavers, to gain a bespoke degree in their chosen field and provide the opportunity to work on major highway and railway infrastructure schemes, giving them vital first-hand skills and mentoring whilst learning ‘on the job’.

Partnerships have been formed with Coventry University to deliver both the Civil Engineering and Environmental & Sustainability programmes, York St John (London Campus) for the Data Science programme and we will continue working closely with Sheffield Hallam University to deliver our Rail degree apprentice programme.

“The launch of our four-degree apprenticeship programmes provides an alternative route into the industry and supports our commitment to equal opportunities; resulting in a more diverse and sustainable business for the future,” said, Alex Gilbert Managing Director of Amey Consulting.

“Given the nature and size of business, it’s critical to invest in early careers to create a stream of highly qualified engineering talent.”

Apprentices, upon completion of the Degree Apprenticeship Programme, will not only have obtained a Bachelor's degree, but also practical, business focussed vocational skills obtained through real world experience, gained in our design offices and on site, helping Amey Consulting cement its reputation as one of the UK’s leading providers of professional engineering services.

Through our commitment to professional excellence, all apprentices will have the opportunity to become Chartered, ensuring a continuation of their learning and development.

This degree scheme is an integral part of our commitment to drive innovation in employment practices, striving for greater inclusion within the workplace and our commitment to the 5 per cent club pledge of hiring more apprentices.

Digital inspiration during lockdown

It’s not only through degrees and apprenticeships that Amey looks to inspire its future engineers.

Research undertaken by Engineering UK found that when young people were asked whether they would be likely to consider engineering as a career, 44 per cent of boys/young men answered yes as opposed to just 24 per cent of girls/young women and that gap is even wider when it comes to technology with 65 per cent of boys/young men vs 37 per cent of girls/young women saying they would be likely to consider a career in the sector.

This research indicates that whilst young people are interested in STEM subjects in primary school, that interest often wanes with age, particularly amongst girls and is a significant problem post 16. At the same time rising demand for researchers and technicians in the workforce, enhanced by the development of new technologies, and government’s fear that without a plentiful supply of STEM qualified workers at a number of levels in the economy, there may be a decline in innovation and, consequently, economic competitiveness, we are already seeing early signs of a skills shortage in the transport sector.

Our desire to reach more diverse groups has seen our team help create an array of material and learning platforms to encourage women in engineering. Claire, a graduate from Amey Consulting worked with Girlguiding to develop a Girlguiding badge based on STEM skills to encourage more girls to take up STEM skill subjects. This badge has been a huge success and seen over 130,000 girls take part. “I’m happy that I may have helped girls gain confidence and discover a love of engineering. I hope it’ll encourage lots of them to become engineers. Of all the things I’ve done, it’s been the most personally satisfying. I’ve even become a Girl Guide leader myself,” said Claire.

With the onslaught of COVID-19 and the need for home schooling, at Amey we’ve created the Education Hub page that looks to inspire young children into STEM and a career in transport. The site has free access to a range of inclusive activities and resources that bring some fun in to the home as well as educate, engage and inspire our young people, from designing a railway route and building structures to learning more about the environment. We’ve also recently launched our Chat and Learn programmes that are providing schools and young people with the chance to request a one-to-one or class career talk, with the hope of engaging young people, through a variety of interactive initiatives.

Our sector has a wealth of knowledge that we need to mobilise to inspire our young people. For our sector to survive and thrive we need to look to engage young people in engineering careers, creating a fun, inclusive and relatable experience that will ignite a passion that will develop our engineers for the tomorrow.

To find out more information about starting your career at Amey follow the link here


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