School of Engineering News
Tamsin Leaman-Hewitt wins the Young Rail Professionals Apprentice of the Year award
Congratulations to our Civil and Infrastructure Engineering degree apprentice Tamsin Leaman-Hewitt who recently won the Young Rail Professionals Apprentice of the Year award. Tamsin has also been shortlisted for the Amazon Everywoman Apprentice of the Year.
We asked Tamsin about her success and motivation for doing a degree apprenticeship.
Congratulations on winning the Young Rail Professionals Apprentice of the Year award and being nominated for the Everywoman in Transport and Logistics Apprentice of the Year Award. Can you tell us a little bit about these awards? How do you get nominated?
The Young Rail Professionals Apprentice of the Year award’s aim is to promote and recognise the young apprentices in the rail industry and to celebrate the hard work the nominees have done. Everywoman in Transportation and Logistics is set up to help recognise and celebrate the work women are doing in Transportation and Logistics across the UK, with another aim of inspiring woman to join the industry to continue to increase diversity within Civil Engineering. The awards are sent around to all companies in the industry where employees can put names forward for who they think deserves recognition.
Briefly describe your role and your apprenticeship. Why did you decide to do a degree apprenticeship?
My role as an apprentice at Atkins is to help support designers and Project Managers through projects and to use this experience to continue my professional development in order to grow within the company and increase the responsibility I am competent to take on. I started a Level 3 apprenticeship at the 16 which has led onto the degree apprenticeship as the traditional education route I believe does not support my learning style. Having the mixture of learning on and off the job for me is more engaging and suitable for the career I chose.
What skills are you applying to your role?
The most important skills for my role is communication, teamwork, organisation and the ability to adapt and problem solve. Communication and teamwork are vital in order to be able to effectively work within a project team and the ability to adapt and problem solve is very important as issues often arise in civil engineering so you must be able to come up with innovative solutions to work around them.
What has your experience been like as a female in Civil Engineering?
As civil engineering is a male dominated industry, in some circumstances this can add additional challenges to a woman’s career, however this is not what I have experienced working at Atkins. The movement of equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace has already started to have a massive impact on the industry and in my case has meant that I have not had any extra challenges due to my gender to date. As this is not always the case, things such as the Everywoman awards, Women in Rail, Women in Engineering day and many more initiatives are helping change the narrative of it being a male dominated industry and inspiring women to consider civil engineering as a career.
What are your ambitions for the future?
My ambitions for the near future are to complete my degree, become a Chartered Engineer with the ICE and from there I want to experience working on projects across the world to be able to travel while continuing to develop my career.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone thinking about doing a degree apprenticeship?
The advice that I would give is that it is an excellent route to go if the traditional educational route does not suit your style of learning, and there is a clear industry that you find inspiring and want to be a part of. The amount of work is tricky to manage, but the opportunities that come following the completion of a degree apprenticeship are worth it.