The 17th National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is taking this week with a range of events, resources, and opportunities across the country.
The senior team at RAB recognised the importance of apprenticeships a number of years ago, and developed a training program that would benefit both the apprentices and our business. Our MD, Russell Burton, explains the initial rationale for embracing the apprenticeship scheme:
“We desperately wanted to ‘grow’ our own Flood Risk Engineers. Flood Risk and Drainage is a relatively minor aspect of a Civil Engineering degree, so we needed engineers who could apply their skills to solving hydraulic and hydrological problems. We saw the apprentice route as the best way of achieving that by combining the broader civil engineering academic skills gained at university with our ‘on the job’ training.
“We are delighted with the success of our apprenticeship program, and this has led to the development of The RAB Academy which includes the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) training scheme. This will help apprentices continue their career development at RAB once the graduate.”
Our first apprentice, Nathan Parsons, graduated with a first-class honours degree two years ago and is now a Flood Risk Engineer at RAB. We currently have six other apprentices working towards their degrees too, including Hannah Geddes and Jessica Hipwood.
Hannah is working as a Flood Risk Management Technician while completing her degree in Civil Engineering at Coventry University. She started the apprenticeship degree in 2019 and is due to finish this year (with an additional year to become an Incorporated Engineer with ICE). Hannah attends university one day a week, with the rest of her time spent training and learning at RAB. She recently completed her water safety training and PFR training, and is lined up for T98 training and PSRA training in the near future.
Jessica is an Apprentice Civil Engineer at RAB studying for a degree in Civil and Transportation Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton. She started her apprenticeship in September 2020 and is due to complete in the summer of 2025.
She has undertaken her T98 visual asset inspection accreditation and has also completed modules in water safety training, general health and safety training, public safety risk assessment training and property flood resilience (PFR) training. In terms of work experience, Jessica has also been involved with a variety of client projects including design works, option appraisal reports, and more recently assisting the project management of the second stage of the Marches Mosses project (which we covered in a recent article: RAB Team continues to provide services for important restorative peatbog project).
The program is clearly working well for Jessica: “I am really enjoying being an apprentice here at RAB and would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone thinking of taking this route. Whilst balancing university studies alongside my hands-on work and training is challenging, the support I have been given by the team at RAB is really helping and has made the process easier.”
Information on current vacancies, working as part of the RAB Team, and the RAB Academy can be found on the Careers Page of our website: Careers at RAB.