County highways team offers unmissable opportunities

Cllr Rupert SimmonsYOUNG people looking for a step onto the career ladder are being offered the unique chance to work with East Sussex Highways.

Costain/CH2M, East Sussex County Council’s new highways contractor, has pledged to hire apprentices every year of its seven year contract and has announced its first ten opportunities.

Of the 10 apprenticeships on offer, two will be in customer services as a starting platform to then move into the engineering apprenticeships, while eight young people will take up an immediate two year Level 3 Construction and Built Environment Apprenticeship training to become civil engineering technicians.

“We are very pleased to begin the new contract by offering work opportunities to apprentices,” said Catherine Tipton, East Sussex Highways Performance, Social Value and Sustainability Manager. “We hope that our efforts will help upskill East Sussex residents and contribute to the local economy.”

A work readiness taster week will take place in Eastbourne from Monday, July 25, for young people who are interested in this opportunity, followed by work experience during the following week with Costain/CH2M. Participants will then be able to apply for a role with Costain/CH2M.

The successful candidates will start a two year supervised programme where they will be supporting civil engineers who design, build and manage construction projects, and will attend Sussex Downs College one day a week working towards a BTEC in Construction and Built Environment and Technician Membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Apprentices will be paid a salary of £12,700, which amounts to around £240 per week, will work for 40 hours a week, and will have the potential at the end of the two years to continue working with Costain/CH2M and study further.

To apply for the apprenticeship, candidates will need to;

• have (or be predicted) a minimum of five GCSEs, with grades A* – C in maths and English. GCSE passes with grades A*- C in STEM subjects such as physics and ICT would be an advantage but are not essential

• be available to attend the work readiness week from July 25 to 29 and be able to pass functional maths and English tests conducted by Sussex Downs College, and any other assessments

• be able to start the full time apprenticeship in late August 2016.

Cllr Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for economy, said: “We are delighted that our contractors are offering a real contribution to the local skills arena as an integral part of their service.

“By taking on apprentices with a civil engineering focus, Costain and CH2M are actively contributing to the growth of two of our priority sectors -construction and engineering – and they are also enabling our local colleges to expand their curriculum offer, so that they can better meet the needs of local employers.”

To register your interest in attending the work readiness week and applying for this opportunity, please email making sure to state ‘ESCC Highways Apprenticeship’ and provide your name, date of birth, address, contact telephone number and your current or predicted GCSE grades.

A work readiness week will be led by Medway Youth Trust with sessions run by Costain, CH2M, STEM Sussex and Sussex Downs College.

As part of its contract with East Sussex County Council, Costain CH2M has a “social value” commitment in which they have designed to a programme of skills to benefit young people in East Sussex.