12 Apprentices Lay Career Foundations as Esh Construction Invests in the Future

Engineers, groundworkers and quantity surveyors are among the new recruits.

A group of apprentices have embarked on an exciting career in the construction industry as Esh Construction welcomes 12 new recruits.

Engineering, groundworkers, and quantity surveying apprentices recently joined Esh to work on civil engineering projects across the North East and Tees Valley region as the contractor continues its drive to invest in the workforce of the future.

An Apprentice HGV Fitter will work in the fleet management team, and an Apprentice IT Technician will help manage Esh’s IT infrastructure.

Among the new recruits is apprentice quantity surveyor, Evie Seymour, 17, from Bishop Auckland. Since starting her apprenticeship with Esh just three weeks ago, Evie is urging more females to consider a career in construction. She said: “Some people perceive construction to be a ‘man’s job’, but there are more girls working in the industry than ever before and it provides so much opportunity for growth.

“I never really considered working in construction, but I started looking for apprenticeships when I decided sixth form wasn’t for me. I came across the role of a quantity surveyor – it’s quite maths-based and requires a lot of thinking and problem solving, which I’m really enjoying. I learn something new every day and I’m looking forward to getting out on construction sites each week.”

A mix of school and college leavers have taken up the new roles, as well as Luke Barker, 21, who was looking for a new career pathway. From Ryhope in Sunderland and employed as an apprentice engineer, Barker commented: “I’ve always wanted to be an engineer – my dad works in construction too – I’ve got a Higher National Certificate (HNC) qualification in marine engineering and previously worked at sea on tankers, but I wanted to do something more site-based, which is why I pursued this role at Esh.

“I will study a degree in civil engineering alongside my on-site role. An apprenticeship is a great opportunity to learn both on site and in the classroom, giving you vital experience and knowledge that you will carry throughout your career.”

The new intake will study one day per week at local establishments, including New College Durham, Gateshead College, Derwentside College and Northumbria University.

Stephen Wilkie, executive director at Esh Construction, knows more than most how much impact an apprenticeship can have on your career. He said: “At Esh, we’ve always had a ‘grow your own culture’. I started working here in 1989, employed straight from school as a trainee engineer. The support and opportunities from the outset have helped me progress to the position I’m honoured to be in today.

“There is a real need to invest in the workforce of the future and to provide more routes into construction through apprenticeships, graduate placements, and work experience opportunities. We are delighted to welcome our newest intake and look forward to supporting them into long-term careers in the industry.”

I never really considered working in construction, but I started looking for apprenticeships when I decided sixth form wasn’t for me. I came across the role of a quantity surveyor – it’s quite maths-based and requires a lot of thinking and problem solving, which I’m really enjoying."

Evie Seymour, Apprentice Quantity Surveyor at Esh Construction
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