We asked former Level 4 Apprentice in Construction & Built Environment student Jared Humphries about his role, and why he chose to enter an apprenticeship:
What does your role involve at FM Conway?
I work for a company called a FM Conway who are an infrastructure company that works in transportation and the built environment. As part of their self-delivery model they have an in house design team called consultancy services. I work for the structures team within consultancy services so we’re responsible for designing anything that is structural such as bridges, retaining walls or drainage.
One of the main things I love about this role is how varied it is but a big portion of what I do does have one thing in common; structural design. This involves working out what forces are acting on the structure, applying factor of safety and then performing various calculations to check whether the structure can take the proposed loads. After this is done we produce a drawing which shows the team on-site what to build. Apart from designing things, we also produce reports and undertake inspections of existing structures. This can be for things such as replacing bridge expansion joints or doing structural assessments.
When does your apprenticeship finish? What are you intending to do once it has completed?
I have recently been promoted to an engineering technician which is a great step forward for me and should provide me with more recognition. However, I have decided to continue studying in order to keep progressing my career so I have started a Civil Engineering BEng degree this September.
Would you recommend others to enter civil engineering/study for a level 4 apprenticeship?
I am a big advocate of apprenticeships as I believe that the combination of working and studying provides people with a much better understanding of how what they learn at university or college applies in real life, while allowing them to practice their newly learnt skills in the workplace. I think this is especially true for something like engineering where experience almost always trumps qualifications.
I believe this is the case because as good as going to College or university is and learning about the theoretical side of things, this is only one piece of the puzzle. As an engineer you are constantly having to communicate with clients, make judgements on what to do or what not to do, figure at how to model complex real work problems in a way that can be solved with engineering principles and manage projects and fees. None of these things can be taught at university or College so the best way to learn them is with real like experience so I definitely recommend getting in there early and doing an apprenticeship.
Jared has also won industry awards too! Read more here.
Photo credit FM Conway.