Receiving the NCE Apprentice of the Year Award 2019
Securing an apprenticeship with Siemens Rail Infrastructure.
Gaining a place on my BTEC Level Three Extended Diploma in Construction & The Built Environment.
How I became a civil engineer
I studied for a BTEC Level Three Extended Diploma in Construction & The Built Environment; Civil Engineering at a college in Chippenham. In the final few months of this course Siemens Rail Infrastructure visited the college to discuss the potential for an apprentice position at the company. After completing this course at DDD* grade I was invited for interview at Siemens and secured the position.
I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone. You gain the same book knowledge as a university student by studying and working but have the massive benefits of; having a job, being able to do the work rather than just knowing the process.
A day in my life
A typical day for me is a busy one, running about getting setting out tasks complete, formwork checked and queries resolved.
A typical weekend shift would include installing signalling gantries. This first starts with the driving of four piles, two either side of the railway. I set these to the design offset from rail. Then the install of a pile cap, again checked for position by me from rail. The stanchions are then lifted into place by a crane, followed by the boom.
Once I am happy these are in the right place the signals can be installed. These are installed relative to the rail level and have tight tolerances to ensure they do not `foul gauge` and get struck by a train when in use. I direct these into the design position and advise the CRE, who then signs a form to declare the gantry `fit for traffic.
We asked Toby…
why you choose to do an apprenticeship?
The hands on approach is by far the best way to understand and appreciate the learning undertaken in the classroom.
which civil engineering myth(s) you would like to bust?
We all build bridges and highways!
which civil engineering project (past or present) do you wish you’d worked on?
The Channel Tunnel. Just imagine breaking through the centre and the two sides aligning! Imagine! All whilst being at least fifty metres below sea level. Now, nobody gives it a second thought if they want to travel to France, it has become a crucial everyday part of life.
what about being a civil engineer apprentice inspires you?
The variety of my work, no two days are ever the same and I always learn something!
what would you say to anyone considering a civil engineering apprenticeship?
If you love understanding how things work and why they are done in a certain way civil engineering is a great career choice. To complement this, the apprentice role lets you start at the ground, working upwards to learn about the industry and other invaluable skills you hadn’t considered, putting you ahead of those studying at a university by becoming a well-rounded engineer.