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Supporting girls and their parents to consider STEM apprenticeships

Here at BAM Nuttall Ltd, we believe in offering early career opportunities to everyone. BAM Nuttall Ltd is a leading edge supplier of civil engineering services, delivering quality infrastructure projects including bridge refurbishments, flood alleviation projects and tunnels, both in the UK and abroad. It is important for us to take the best students - those who want to succeed in their future and work hard to get there, and young adults who will be committed to adding value to the company - and this is achieved by working closely with colleges and schools throughout the UK.

All businesses want this, don’t they? We think they do, but how much do the students fully understand about working life? Do school children know what it takes to be successful in their chosen career? Do they know how to behave in the workplace? Do they understand how their attitude to learning now will impact their life ahead?

What we did.

  • When visiting schools and meeting with students we make sure they gain clarity on what it means to be an employee. By helping them understand what it’s like to be a part of a business who invests in them and wants to see them grow, and through discussion and demonstration, we show that studying at school is important in securing a strong future ahead.
  • We actively work with inner city schools to help those from a diverse background have an introduction to the world of civil engineering. Our Business Development team supports mini projects with local schools, setting challenges to the students to create structures and tackle small real-world problems, which encourages students to think outside the box allowing them to apply the skills they learn back to their studies with a renewed excitement and enthusiasm.
  • Hearing many comments from young adults that Mum and Dad would prefer them to go to university, or that they wouldn’t be happy with them working in the civil engineering industry, is particularly apparent from young female students. When we visit schools we take along our female apprentices so they can be our voice, to reassure parents that there’s nothing scary about working on site with a strong male population, and to reinforce the message that females are being actively recruited and progressed in the industry.
  • When working with schools we request that parents are invited to speak with us if they wish to. We are also looking to have a ‘Parent’ section on our website so we can help reduce any anxieties and answer any questions they may have.
  • We hold assembly sessions where we demonstrate the industry and our apprenticeship to a range of students. Again, we actively encourage female students to come along and speak with our female apprentices after, to discuss what it’s really like working in engineering.

What we learned.

In 2016, we had:

  • over 600 applicants for 36 vacancies on our nationwide Technical Apprenticeship programme,
  • 23% of these applicants were female,
  • final on-boarding successfully saw 21% of the intake being female apprentices.

This is fantastic and shows that our programme is attractive to the female young adult population. With the continual support of the female apprentices, and workers in our business, we will continue to promote and grow these numbers every year.

To find out more about us and our opportunities, please go to our website at

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