Less than 18 months ago, former student Rhys Phillips was taking his A-Level examinations at WHS. However, it was hard to grasp that the confident young engineer, who has spent his summer completing important work for his sponsor company, BAM Nuttall, on the Norfolk Coast Defence Project, had left so recently.  Along with his course mate, Indra Peachey, he described his journey.

Both students have embarked on a four year degree course, which will incorporate a masters in Civil Engineering, which they will need to acquire chartered status. Both students were successful in applying for the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) Quest Scholarship, which has already provided them with fascinating placements – Indra spent her summer working for Taylor Woodrow in the Midlands on HS2 – some attractive financial gains and a foot-in-the-door with some excellent employers. They explained that there will be a future shortage of civil engineers and that companies are looking to attract and sponsor increasing numbers of talented young people. They were equally keen to point out that their course-mates, who are completing the degree as part of an apprenticeship, are in an even better position, as invariably their employers are also sponsoring their degrees, leaving them with no student debt. Not bad!

For those in the audience who were unsure of the requirements of a civil engineer, they pared it back to “Designing and making anything which people will use e.g. roads, bridges, sewers, skyscrapers, etc.”. They offered application tips to those considering applying. They both felt that the main attribute required when applying to this area is problem solving, as well as an ability to explain why you are are interested and what you know.

Our thanks go to both Rhys and Indra for their time and enthusiasm in speaking to our students.