Shona McCrea, Trainee Site Engineer at GRAHAM, is benefiting from undertaking a Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) in Civil Engineering at University of the West of Scotland.
Shona, who took up this newly created role at GRAHAM last October, is currently working on the ground-breaking £80m new Clyde road bridge project.
As a GA student, Shona is able to integrate her academic learning with her workplace activities and demonstrate the application of her knowledge, skills and understanding in a professional environment.
Shona, who is a student member of the Institute of Highway Engineers, the Institute of Asphalt Technology and the Institution of Civil Engineers, commented: “My new post at GRAHAM is fantastic and it is great to be working on such an exciting project. The ground investigation work that I am currently involved in as part of the new bridge construction project is giving me the opportunity to apply my learning from the Year 3 Geotechnical module.
“A major advantage of the GA programme is that you gain vital industry experience whilst working towards your degree. It also provides opportunities to see real world applications of the course content and help you gain a more thorough understanding of the subjects being taught.”
A GA in Civil Engineering at UWS provides a broad knowledge of core Civil Engineering subject areas including structural, geotechnical, water engineering, materials and hydraulics. It also equips apprentices with graduate attributes such as teamwork, critical thinking and creativity. Additionally, it will provide knowledge of the latest trends in the application of digital technologies in construction such as laser scanning and thermography, Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR), sustainable development, and occupational health, safety, and well-being.
Shona said: “After leaving school I went straight to university to study psychology at UWS. It was a really enjoyable degree but after a couple of years I started to realise that I wanted to pursue a more practical and hands-on career that would allow me to work in both an office-based setting and out in the field. Throughout my time at school there was very little emphasis on Women in STEM and therefore the prospect of having a career in engineering was non-existent to me. After speaking to various family members who are in the field of engineering I realised that I wanted to study a Civil Engineering Graduate Apprenticeship.
“I am very keen to encourage more girls and young women to consider engineering as a positive career choice and recently joined the GRAHAM Group network of STEM Ambassadors which will give me the opportunity to go back into schools and universities to help spread the word about engineering as a career.”
Gary Redpath, Community Benefits Adviser, GRAHAM Group, said: “At GRAHAM we recognise the importance of working in partnership with Higher Education providers such as University of the West of Scotland in the delivery of Graduate Apprenticeships.
“Attracting young, local people to Graduate Apprenticeship opportunities is vital in ensuring the sustainability of the Civil Engineering industry.
“Graduate Apprenticeships have a multitude of benefits for our business. They are an effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.”
Graduate Apprenticeships offer a chance for apprentices to work with leading employers whilst studying for an Honours Degree at UWS. This GA in Civil Engineering is a Work Based Learning degree which is mostly delivered in the workplace, ensuring that the content is aligned to industry needs. Typically students spend one day per week at UWS, with the work and learning they do in their workplace making a significant contribution towards their degree.
To find out more about the BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering Graduate Apprenticeship visit the course page of the University’s website or email email@example.com