11th March 2022

NCW2022 – Meet William Seage, Civil Engineering Apprentice

What is your role?

Civil Engineering Apprentice

Describe your job in three words?

Fast-paced, insightful and rewarding.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Being able to work with lots of different people and learning from their experience.

What skills do you need to succeed in your role?

Good work ethic, analytical thinking skills, communication, being able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently, and willingness to learn.

What education or training do you need for your role?

As an apprentice, there are minimum grades you need to achieve to get on the course but regarding most of the other aspects, if you show you are keen you will do well. There is also a minimum requirement you need to be on-site such as a CSCS card which is essential as you learn quickest when you see our methods on site.

What does an average week look like for you?

It varies month to month depending on current projects but the last few months I have been more office-based Tuesday to Friday and attending university on Monday. Work includes setting up, running and working on jobs in both Specialist Piling and Ground Consolidation sectors. I also regularly get to visit sites which are essential, as you can understand a job far better when you’re not trying to imagine what is going on.

Why did you choose a career in construction?

You will always have a vital job relating to the economy of not only Britain but also the world. You also get a good bit of satisfaction when you see a project months after you have visited, and you can see the impact you have had.

What is one thing you’ve learnt about the industry, which surprised you?

The essential need for piling and all other foundation work. The value of all the work that most people don’t realise goes on before a building is built up from ground level. It is also very refreshing that you are not treated as a typical apprentice, and you are given good amounts of responsibility if you are keen and can show you are capable.

Tell us about your career journey so far?

I worked in the agriculture industry before joining Van Elle as an apprentice in November 2020. Since joining Van Elle, I’ve been put through several training courses to further my understanding and also capabilities. I’m currently studying Civil Engineering at Nottingham Trent University.

What advice would you give to somebody looking to get into the industry?

Do it and don’t hesitate, there is a wide range of roles available – something for everyone!

What are your career aspirations?

I want to continue to gain experience and develop, gain competencies as well as confidence. Over the next five years, I hope to complete my university degree and then look to progress towards management level and beyond.

Do you feel like you’re making a difference in your job?

In terms of my own development, undoubtedly! I’ve put initiatives in place to make improvements within my division which are having a positive impact on the business. My team are also supportive of my progression, learning and development.

What is the best bit of advice you have for someone looking to move into this role?

An apprenticeship is a brilliant opportunity to start your career. You’ll gain valuable work experience and earn as you learn.

Visit our careers page for more information on Van Elle opportunities.