Civil Engineering Students Prove They Are Work Ready!

22nd November 2017

High school pupils are benefitting from a Foundation Apprenticeship course in Civil Engineering delivered by Fife College.

Three S6 pupils from Madras College in St Andrews are getting a head start in their careers by undertaking a Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering which enables them to study towards an industry recognised qualification at college, while still at school.

Duncan McGhee, (17) from Leuchars, Vasilii Hill, (17) from St Andrews and Oliver Teppett, (17) from Newport-On-Tay have recently started the second and final year of the course and have found the experience to be extremely interesting and beneficial to their future careers.

The course consisted of a mandatory work placement which took place during the October holidays. This allowed the pupils to work with major organisations to get a feel for what life as a civil engineer is really like.

Duncan thoroughly enjoyed his placement with infrastructure support service supplier, Amey at the Forth Road Bridge and feels it has given him a good advantage for when he applies for a modern apprenticeship after he finishes school. Said Duncan: “My placement was at the Forth Road Bridge which enabled me to work closely with the different teams and find out exactly what it was that they did. I got to go out and do some testing on the roads, inspect the scaffolding on the new Queensferry Crossing and also be one of the first to get a tour of the new bridge which was really exciting!”

Vasilii spoke highly of the course and found his placement at Dundee Flood Prevention Scheme and Balfour Beatty’s head office interesting and beneficial. He got involved in a project to build a wall that runs from Dundee Airport past the Railway Bridge, during which he got to help with the early stages of concrete testing and also use some of the equipment he had learned about in class to make important measurements.

Said Vasilii: “The Foundation Apprenticeship has enabled me to get a good insight into what life at college would be like and also what it would be like to work in the industry. Being on site lets you experience the challenges that a civil engineer may face on a day-to-day basis which was something I found very interesting and also prepares you for a career in the industry.”

Oliver experienced what life as a civil engineer would be like at Almondbank Flood Prevention Scheme where he helped construct concrete walls to prevent houses from flooding. He then got to spend a week at Balfour Beatty’s head office, which is based in Motherwell, where he got to see behind the scenes and how different departments operate.

Said Oliver: “The course has been good so far and has provided me with a completely different learning experience from school. The work placement was definitely my favourite aspect of the course!”

Curriculum Manager for Built Environment Technicians and Interior Design at Fife College, Marc Fleming is delighted with the students’ progress and wishes them the very best with their future endeavours. Said Marc: “Duncan, Vasilii and Oliver have represented their school and Fife College immensely well during their studies and placements. The Foundation Apprenticeship is a challenging course, particularly when you have to keep on top of school work, but they have all worked extremely hard and proved they are capable of succeeding in such a competitive industry.

“We are very fortunate to have fantastic working relationships with Balfour Beatty and Amey who supplied the placements for the pupils. This opportunity has given the pupils a unique learning experience which will stand them in good stead for their future career paths.”

Foundation Apprenticeships are available to S5 pupils at Fife schools. For more information please visit the Foundation Apprenticeships page on the Fife College website.

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