'We like people who like a challenge and we can offer some exciting high-profile projects to work on', said group training and development manager, Jeff Keer. 'There is a wide range of opportunities across the group, from major civil engineering projects to working in building construction, rail, and in our specialist businesses in foundations, utilities, highways management and power transmission.' The 70+ civils graduates the contractor recruits in a typical year are joining a group with annual revenue of £7.5bn, employing over 34,000 people worldwide.
Graduates usually spend their first couple of years on site, on projects ranging from £50,000 to £500M in value.
Graduates usually remain in the business unit that they first join for at least the first three or four years. 'We believe in giving people early responsibility. If you move around too much you tend not to get that responsibility, because you’re not there long enough to build on the knowledge and experience you are gaining', said Keer.
A number of students undertake work placements either in summer vacations or as an industrial training year; many are subsequently sponsored in their final year. Increasingly the company is also sponsoring students from the first year, both via the ICE Quest scheme and through direct links with universities. The value of the sponsorship is typically about £1,000 to £1,500 per academic year.
Off-the-job training as part of the ICE training scheme includes a core programme of courses covering people skills, commercial skills, planning, safety and environmental awareness. Keer continued: 'We’re looking for enthusiastic, committed team players with a positive, can-do attitude. We want bright people with their feet on the ground, not rocket scientists. Balfour Beatty is a very successful business for civil engineers to join. Many of those who started as graduates are now directors.'
Make a good impression at Balfour Beatty. Find out what you could achieve at www.balfourbeatty.com/graduates
ICE-accredited training scheme
Work placements for industrial training year students and during summer vacations
Sponsorship available through ICE QUEST programme, through contacts with universities and to undergraduateswho have undertaken satisfactory work placements
Private healthcare after three years
Up to 25 days’ holiday, plus bank holidays
Locations: initial locations throughout the UK, opportunities later overseas ]
Graduate profile: Jenefer Alam
Jenefer Alam studied for her BEng in civil engineering with water and environmental management at The University of Greenwich.
By the time she graduated in 2006 she had done her career research carefully. 'I looked at a number of companies and, after discussing options with my tutor, I decided to apply to Balfour Beatty,' Jenefer recalled. 'My application was successful, which took a lot of pressure off me while taking my finals. After I graduated I took a month off to visit the Middle East, and then I started work.'
Jenefer’s first project has seen her career get off to a flying start – after all, it’s not every graduate engineer that lands a project like the A3 improvement programme at Hindhead and the Devil’s Punchbowl as a first site to work on. The project is currently the biggest construction site in England, and includes the UK’s longest underground tunnel at 1.1 miles. 'Because of the environmental sensitivity of the area, there are a lot of statutory bodies that we are working alongside,' explained Jenefer. 'I am enjoying working on this project – it is fabulous experience for me at the start of my career.'
'The A3 project director is also my personal supervisor for my ICE training programme, which is brilliant. He is making sure that I get all the different experiences that I need to meet my training objectives, and all from this one project!'
As well as getting her hands-on experience, Jenefer is part of Balfour Beatty’s in-house training scheme, gaining the extra knowledge she needs to help her become professionally qualified. 'Everyone is very friendly – the culture is very professional, but in a relaxed kind of way,' she explained. 'Even the most senior people are very approachable. I am very happy to be working here – I know that I have made the right career decision.'