• 8 April 2019

Infrastructure & Environmental Apprenticeship

Nishan is a first-year apprentice with our infrastructure & environmental team in Birmingham. With a family history in the automotive industry, he tells us how his love for art and technology lead him on the path to become a civil engineer.

Since I can remember, I have always wanted to work in the construction industry. I’ve always been surrounded by hands-on projects, such as doing up my house as well as renovations and maintenance of cars. Having a father that worked in the automotive industry since he was sixteen has rubbed off on me and made me a pretty practical individual. Although I was surrounded by a family that mainly worked with cars, I knew I would feel more challenged in the construction industry as my specialities at school were always art and technology; I had a love for drawing, designing and making things.

Because of these subjects, throughout primary and secondary school I was eager to find something that had all my interests wrapped into one. I decided to study an engineering BTEC at WMG Academy in Coventry, spending two years learning about multiple areas of the industry. Coming up to the end of my course, I had the option to either apply for university or start an apprenticeship. As much as people say university is a good life experience, I knew in the long term it would be more beneficial for me to get practical experience while working for a reputable company. Although I had studied all different aspects of engineering, the construction side was still the most interesting to me.

When I left sixth form, I wasn’t successful in finding an apprenticeship straight away. However, by searching for construction apprenticeships online, I came across the advertisement for Waterman’s new apprenticeship programme. I spent the evening making sure my application was up to scratch and waited for a call. I was lucky enough to be invited for an interview and even luckier to receive the job offer. I was ecstatic and started working within the civils team of their infrastructure & environmental department in October 2018.

The team have taught me so much more than I had expected I could learn in such a short time. I have gained so much knowledge from my manager, mentors and graduates, working on current projects and being dropped straight into real work. It’s been an exciting experience so far.

On a day-to-day basis I am responsible for completing various types of CAD drawings. I spent my first couple of months getting to grips with AutoCAD because I hadn’t used it before. I can now use it confidently, meaning I can get on with the tasks that are set for me. I have had the chance to go on site and see the more hands-on side of our jobs. I have been most involved in the Northampton garage sites, taking responsibility for sets of tender and construction drawings. When I first started, I would have several amendments to my initial drawings however, with experience, I’m gradually getting less and less to amend.

I believe it’s important to be constantly pushed and challenged in your job. If you get too comfortable with your work, it can get boring. I believe civil engineering is up there with some of the jobs with the highest self-satisfaction because the projects we work on will impact people’s lives for the better. As a child I always imagined engineering to be limited to the manufacturing industry however, after studying and now working within it, I can see that it’s so much more because it plays a key part in the functioning of society. I would recommend engineering to anybody as a rewarding and challenging career. There is something for everyone.

As I’m still at the beginning of my career, I know there’s a lot more for me to discover. There are so many different job roles within civil engineering to explore and I have no doubt that I’ll eventually break away to specialise in one particular field as time goes on. In the future, I am aiming to achieve a chartership and feel this will be a truly defining moment, showing how far I’ve come.

If I could go back to the start of my career, I would definitely encourage myself to gain more experience in the industry prior to my apprenticeship. Even if it was un-paid and voluntary, I now know that it would have proven to me that engineering was the right career to go into.

Nishan Bansal

Ruth Jeffs, Regional Director for Waterman Infrastructure & Environment and Nishan’s Line Manager, commented; “Nishan has played an integral role in our team from the first day he walked through the door, and his enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge shines through. Nishan is a delight to have working with us and we look forward to welcoming more apprentices to our team in the future.”

You Might Also Like…