Esh Civils paving the way for females in construction

Local student Jess builds upon her construction knowledge whilst gaining a hands-on experience at £6.7m IAMP scheme.

Esh Civils is paving the way for females with an interest in construction careers, by showcasing the career opportunities available to them within the industry and supporting them to gain first-hand experience by immersing them into the construction environment.

The team on-site at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), where Esh has been contracted to construct and install of the infrastructure for the first phase of development, were thrilled to host local student Jess, for a four-day work experience placement.

Jess, a year 13 student at Durham High School for Girls, has an interest in pursuing a career in engineering and is currently studying Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. To assist her with university applications, Jess was eager to gain insight into the different areas of engineering and approached Esh regarding the possibility of a work placement.

Keen to encourage females into the industry and promote the available career opportunities, Esh was delighted to be able to support Jess by offering her an opportunity to experience life on IAMP.

The IAMP project, which involves the delivery of highways, drainage, utilities, landscaping and environmental mitigation work for the International Advanced Manufacturing Park, provided the perfect opportunity for Jess to be immersed in a major Civil Engineering project while gaining first-hand experience in a Civil Engineering role.

During her time on IAMP, the site team worked collaboratively with subcontractors and Sunderland City Council’s Clerk of Works to provide Jess with a rounded introduction to the project and ensure maximum exposure to the work being completed on site.

As well as being guided through the projects plans and drawings, Jess used equipment including an Electronic Total Station to support the site team with hands on activities such as surveying and setting out as well as checking the quality of work. In addition, she was able to observe different subcontractors working on site undertaking activities including cutting and proving dead redundant cabling in the area, installation of new services for the infrastructure works, kerbing, deep drainage, installation of rising mains in the A1290 and the surfacing of a section of the carriageway.

Jess acknowledged that prior to her time on IAMP, her understanding of Civil Engineering had been limited and she hoped that the work experience placement would allow her to contextualise the role and reaffirm her career choice. Having spent time on site, she was able to see theory put into practice gained a greater understanding of the day-to-day activities undertaken by our engineers, the roles and the responsibilities of the wider project team and how these interlink.

Prior to the work experience placement with Esh Civils, I had only ever seen men carrying out trades on site so my perception of the industry was a predominantly male environment with much of the work being carried out by tradespeople. I didn’t realise the full extent of the opportunities available in construction and how many of these roles are taken on by women.

The work experience opportunity on IAMP has been a great way of seeing first-hand what a Civil Engineering role entails and as well as ensuring that I can make informed decisions about my future career, I have I been able to gain the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in this field.”

Jess, work experience colleague