Amey was the fourth largest recruiter among UK consultants last year. It wants to recruit 1,000 apprentices over the next four years.
Amey’s position as one of the major recruiters in the sector was given an added boost when it acquired infrastructure maintenance company Enterprise in 2013. The acquisition simultaneously doubled the size of the company and created a much wider range of career opportunities with the firm.
“As well as being strong in our traditional areas of highways and rail, we’re now very strong in the utilities markets, both in the power and water side and also moving strongly into central government, particularly around the Ministry of Defence (MoD),” says Dave Spencer, managing director of Amey’s consulting business.
He says that the rail sector is an especially strong area for the consulting business at the moment, particularly as it delivers work through Network Rail’s Control Period 5 (CP5) frameworks. The track operator’s ambition to speed up the digital enablement of railway operations and make the transition to digitally controlled trains is also creating new work.
However, the work Amey is delivering for central government such as the MoD is perhaps an area of business with which it is less commonly associated. “We won every single regional prime contract for the whole of the UK plus the
national housing prime contracts which we were the incumbent on,” says Spencer.
“One of the key things we’ve been doing is mobilising our large teams involved in asset data collection for the MoD to really get them ahead in understanding what they own and its maintenance requirements.”
Amey divisional HR director Kate Litton thinks that having a consulting operation embedded in an organisation with wider capabilities makes the company more attractive to clients and new recruits. She argues that applicants are also attracted by the company’s graduate and apprentice programmes.
“We have two graduate programmes dedicated to developing employees,” she says. “One is a more management development programme which rotates people into different areas of business to learn different functions or technical skills. It’s really about opening up different experiences to our staff,” she says. Spencer adds that the company supports employees wanting to move from one division into another creating a diverse range of opportunities for its 21,000 strong workforce.
The second programme is more specific. “It focuses on developing technical skills for engineers in specific markets like highways or rail to become chartered engineers,” says Litton.
She expects Amey’s consulting business to recruit 1,400 people this year and has announced a goal to recruit 1,000 apprentices over the next four years.
The apprentices will be put through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold award programme to teach them life skills that they can apply in their personal and professional lives.
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