EN:Able Futures were delighted to receive an endorsement for their shared apprenticeship programme and innovative academy, which aims to develop future construction industry leaders in Yorkshire and Humber, from the President of ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) Andrew Wyllie CBE.
Andrew visited EN:Able Futures’ academy base in Sheffield on Monday 4 February to meet EN:Able Futures founders Mark Scott and Catherine Bishop, the team, apprentices and host employers currently benefitting from the initiative as part of a 2-day tour of South Yorkshire.
Accompanying Andrew, who is also CEO of Costain and non-exec director of Yorkshire Water, was Mark Calvert, Chair of ICE Yorkshire and Humber, and graduate civil engineers Monika Szczyrba and Emma Watkins, selected ICE future leaders.
18 EN:Able Futures apprentices and host employers from across Yorkshire and Humber joined in the discussion on the importance of nurturing talent to support future industry needs, which Andrew Wyllie spoke of in his inaugural address in November 2018. Andrew emphasised the importance of no longer portraying stereotypical careers in construction as site-based and male-biased, together with focussing on the wealth of job opportunities for all rather than skills shortages. In addition he stressed the tangible benefits that construction and civil engineering projects had in improving people’s lives, noting that the 4th industrial revolution we are now experiencing will have a huge impact on the industry.
Andrew was impressed by the calibre of apprentices that were part of the EN:Able Futures programme and that it provided a great opportunity for apprentices to work and learn across all departments and explore all options before making final career decisions that were the right fit. The apprentices entered into a very spirited debate regarding their future and what they would like to see coming from the ICE and industry.
Andrew Wyllie CBE said: “It was tremendous to see the innovative programmes that EN:Able Futures in Sheffield has on offer. ICE is a committed supporter of apprentice programmes, as it is a key route to vocational careers. The young people involved are incredibly talented and enthusiastic.
“I look forward to seeing what they achieve.”
During the launch event for the South Yorkshire Civils Network, hosted by BBC Look North Harry Gration, that took place on the 5th February in Sheffield, Andrew commented further on the apprentices he had met at EN:Able Futures, saying that, “it’s of paramount importance that we develop these talented young people and listen to what they say in order to shape our industry’s future”.
Catherine Bishop, EN:Able Futures Head of Operations commented; “We were delighted to welcome Andrew Wyllie CBE to visit EN:Able Futures, and for us to get the full backing of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Our young people are incredibly enthusiastic about making a difference through civil engineering, and we’re excited to see everything they will achieve.
We are extremely proud that they made such a big impression and clearly want more organisations to get involved to offer opportunities more young people.
“We hope that our academies, as well as others like them, will inspire the Government to invest more in the creation and promotion of apprenticeship programmes, and greater clarity about how the Apprenticeship Levy will be used going forward. We aim to be a positive example to others, not just in the North of England, but across the UK.”
Hayden Brook, a civil engineering apprentice placed with Howard Civil Engineering, told the President, “I love the opportunity provided by the programme, working at Howards gives me the chance to learn something different every day; after deciding the A-level route was not for me I needed a practical challenge where I could make my mark.”
If you’re interested in being part of the EN:Able Futures programme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org