WSP is one of the world’s leading engineering professional services firms, providing management and consultancy services to the built and natural environment.
With 7,800 talented people in the UK and more than 48,000 globally, WSP engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come. WSP has been involved in many high profile UK projects including the Shard, Crossrail, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Manchester Metrolink, M1 Smart Motorway, the re-development of London Bridge Station, and the London Olympic & Paralympic Route Network.
Why does your organisation operate an apprenticeship scheme?
Apprenticeships are key to our success. We invested in apprenticeships to address our skills shortage, increase diversity and grow our business. Our apprenticeship programme is a long-term investment, providing us with a skilled workforce and the next generation of future ready leaders.
What apprenticeships do you offer?
We currently offer apprenticeships at levels 3 and 6, our vacancies are decided by the needs of our business and so can vary each year depending on which teams will be taking on an apprentice. Within our Cambridge office we are likely to have opportunities to study an apprenticeship in Civil Engineering and Building Services Engineering but more opportunities could arise within other disciplines that recruit.
What is your recruiting strategy and frequency?
We have a pro-active recruitment marketing strategy, which incorporates a variety of advertising partners, social media and local and national websites, including Findanapprenticeship, UCAS Snapshot and a number of local council hubs. Across our business, our STEM Ambassadors attend a large number of careers fairs and engagement opportunities.
We engage with a wide range of schools in the Greater Cambridge area through Form the Future, by supporting STEM activities including school visits, career fairs and providing work experience places.
Through these we aim to help young people gain a better understanding of an engineering career and raise our profile so that we attract good candidates to our apprenticeship opportunities when they arise.
What’s a typical day like for an apprentice at WSP and how do you train your apprentices?
There’s no such thing as a typical day at WSP. Our roles are varied and learning is fast-paced – one day can be completely different to the next.
Our apprentices will have the opportunity to learn new skills using specialist software suited to the area of the business they are working in, such as AutoCAD and Revit. They may be involved with taking concepts, ideas and designs from an architect or engineer and creating drawings using the software to match those given. Where practical, they will get the opportunity to visit site and see the projects they have been working on coming to life.
How many of your apprentices stay on at the end of their programme?
All of our apprenticeship roles are permanent. In 2018 98% of apprentices stayed with WSP after completing their apprenticeship. We provide bespoke career guidance to our apprentices, advising them about what further study they could undertake, so that they can achieve their career ambitions.
Which of the three Pledges on apprenticeships did you sign, and why?
- To consider an apprenticeship whenever we need new people
- To recruit at least one new apprentice this year
- To learn more about how we could introduce apprenticeships into our business
We signed a). This was for internal reasons, to ensure we are looking at our roles and seeing whether there would be opportunities to take an apprentice. It is also to support diversity at WSP.
We also signed b) to help us meet the needs of our projects.