CarmichaelUK Celebrates International Youth Day

Ellena Tangi

August 11, 2017

Tomorrow is International Youth Day and this month we introduced 17-year old Eva to a career in Construction and Engineering. Eva has an impressive set of GCSE’s, an A in Maths AS Level and aspires to become a Civil Engineer.

Women in Engineering first connected us to Eva when she asked for help finding a placement for her school work experience. Eva had contacted a number of civil engineering companies, however, struggled to get a response. Using our respectable network of established clients who are currently working on iconic infrastructure projects, we secured her a placement with international infrastructure group, Balfour Beatty, at the Woolwich Crossrail station re-fit. Following her introductions and health and safety tests, Eva received her PPE and was ready to go.

Describing her first day, she said “I was finally here, on site. Scaffolding surrounds me in all directions. As I followed the H&S manager, Derek, I began to realise what a community I was in; everyone knew each other and was friendly. Even though the air was dusty and thick, the atmosphere was amazing. Bright orange men were everywhere. I was led into the main tunnel – I had to fit in some ear plugs as the noise was so loud – I could hardly hear Derek talking to me even though he was no more than a metre away.”

During the next few days, Eva was introduced to various teams who work in different ways to ensure the running and construction of Woolwich Crossrail. The Design team, The Health and Safety team, Construction workers, and the admin department – all play an integral part in the project.

Although not all engineers, Eva confessed that her time in the admin department was thoroughly valuable: “Although this isn’t strictly engineering, it allowed me to appreciate the paperwork behind construction; the significance of a record of the workers, the importance of confidentiality, the meaning of safety.”

When asked about her favourite day on-site, she noted that the fourth day was her personal favourite, which began with Health and Safety team member, Ed, explaining the role of admin behind engineering: “He spoke of the planning needed – a method assessment was required. This should outline the hazards involved, and incorporate a step-by-step guide on how to do the job safely, amongst many other things. When I asked what the biggest challenge within this sector was, the response was simply the multitude and variety of different things; the different jobs under you, the different languages. As an engineer, one needs to communicate with everyone else – which can be demanding in certain circumstances.”


Reflecting on her time as a Woolwich Cross Rail team member Eva said “My 8-day experience here was one of the best opportunities I’ve ever had, and I could not have asked for a better work placement. Even though I was terrified at the beginning by such a foreign environment, as the time progressed, it became more and more familiar, and I loved it by the end, and could not be more thankful.”

At CarmichaelUK we value and understand the skills and benefits that young people can bring to the industry.  We’re working to alleviate industry preconceptions that young people may have because we know that the construction industry is a great place to embark on a career. Our Apprenticeship Programme harnesses the potential existing in young people and combines it with the experience of our clients in the construction industry.

If you’re interested in an apprenticeship, click here to find out how we can help you!

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