A civil engineering student working on the £32m King’s Dyke level crossing scheme has turned her work placement into a permanent job.
Lydia Williams, 22, said it’s “such a big relief” in the currently very competitive jobs climate, to be starting her final year concentrating on revising for her finals instead of job-hunting.
Lydia, who is starting the fourth and final year of a civil engineering degree at Leeds Beckett University, is a member of the Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK team delivering the level crossing scheme.
And, because her university has timetabled all lectures between Wednesday and Friday, Lydia can continue to work part-time through her final year, spending Monday and Tuesday on site.
Lydia, who chose civil engineering because she “really loved” maths and physics, applied for an industrial placement with Jones Bros.
She explained: “Jones Bros are really keen to teach you everything they know.
“The company gives you the opportunity to take responsibility very early on and they don’t hold back your development. I felt like I was thrown in the deep end quickly, which is great because you learn more.
“The support I received was fantastic and there was always someone who would talk me through the various aspects of the work.
“For example, I was assigned one engineer who was with me around the clock at the outset and then there was another trainee engineer who’d been there a year before me that I could go to as well.
“It was reassuring to know there is a very clear support structure in place.”
Lydia believes industrial placements like that offered to her by Jones Bros, are of key importance to students looking to secure careers in engineering, giving them the opportunity to learn new skills by working on significant projects with support from experienced professionals.
She added: “Gaining experience in the industry has made me realise how much there is to learn so it’s really helped me going into my final year at university and naturally understanding the subject.
“I would definitely encourage others to get experience in the industry where possible. Civil engineering is not limited to site either as you can carry out office-based placements as well such as planning, consultancy and design.”
Jones Bros is also now sponsoring Lydia’s final year at university.
Her work so far on the King’s Dyke level crossing scheme, which includes construction of a new road and bridge over the Ely to Peterborough railway line, has involved analysing drawings from the design team for setting out as well as for structures including the bridge and underpass.
Jones Bros contracts director Geraint Thomas said: “Lydia has done really well. Her attitude and the quality of work she demonstrated made it an easy decision to offer her a permanent role with a clear career path to follow.”
Cllr David Connor, one of the local members for the King’s Dyke project, at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “I’m pleased to hear about Lydia’s permanent role and glad King’s Dyke is benefitting from a new generation of civil engineers. I hope Lydia is enjoying working in the local area and getting to see how wonderful Fenland is.”
The much-anticipated highways scheme in Whittlesey, being delivered on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council, is due to open to traffic by December 2022. The level crossing will be permanently closed as part of the redevelopment.
Established in the 1950s, Jones Bros’ leadership team consists of members of the second and third generations of the founding family. It employs close to 500 people.
The company runs an award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which has produced more than 40 per cent of its current workforce, with many of its senior managers having started out as apprentices or in a trainee role. It has recruited more than 100 apprentices during the past three years.
For more information visit www.jones-bros.com