Ryan Beale, 21, is studying for his higher-level apprenticeship in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has just started his second year out of five working at Atkins in Trowbridge and studying at Bristol UWE to gain his degree. Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, is one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies. Atkins work on a variety of schemes from Dubai Metro, 2012 London Olympics and Hinckley Point C to more local schemes such as the A350 Chippenham.

Ryan was it always your plan to undertake an apprenticeship?

No, I actually had places secured at all of my University choices to study Civil Engineering, I had studied Maths, Physics and Product Design at A-Level so I felt quite set on the career path and continuing study at University. I had a last-minute session with the careers adviser at my school who told me about a talk Atkins would be doing, so I went along and found out about the apprenticeship opportunities they had.

What are your day to day jobs on your apprenticeship?

I have a varied role which is exciting, I work on highways which is the contract we hold with Wiltshire Council. I design major projects including junction improvements or brand-new roads. I think is it possible? What time, money, resources and materials will be needed? On our apprenticeship at Atkins we rotate through various teams which gives us good experience and understanding of the business. I have also undertaken a secondment at our Winchester offices which gives me more exposure.

What would your advice be to others who are considering an apprenticeship?

For me an apprenticeship was the right decision, I am still able to live at home whilst earning money, I don’t have to worry about paying to live somewhere and University fees. Whilst you are at school you feel you are learning but not using that knowledge. On an apprenticeship I am applying the things I learn four days a week in a workplace. I first saw an apprenticeship as a ‘back up’ but it shouldn’t be ruled out, keep your options open until the day you receive your results. It is also important to get work experience too, once I did work experience it made me realise I wanted to get hands on and not just study full time.

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