Women account for 26% of graduates joining Atkins’ UK development programmes this year.
It represents an increase of 1% on last year, and the firm said it represents “ongoing progress in the company’s efforts to improve the gender balance across its business”.
Apprentices make up 19% of new recruits, a rise from 11.5%.
Some 293 graduates and 72 apprentices will be placed across 26 Atkins office locations in England, Scotland and Wales.
Atkins’ Energy business will take the highest number of graduates (77), while the Rail business is employing the most apprentices (25), reflecting the ongoing growth and investment in these sectors.
“Today’s graduates and apprentices are the future of our industry and the ones we will all rely on to deliver the significant design, engineering and project management challenges in the years ahead,” said Atkins director of resourcing Chris Marsh.
“For those joining Atkins this represents the start of an exciting career which could lead them across different disciplines, sectors and geographies. We look forward to helping them develop and broaden their skills and providing them with the opportunities to make a positive difference.”
Camilla Nicholson, graduate civil engineer in Atkins’ Nuclear business, based in London, said: “Starting work straight out of university can be a tough transition. Coming from a structured curriculum, you have to learn to take responsibility for your own professional development. A good graduate scheme can support you through this transition, providing a sense of community amongst your colleagues as well as supporting chartership. This is particularly important in engineering.
“There is a real diversity amongst Atkins graduates and the scheme enables you to build networks with colleagues from a wide range of technical backgrounds through professional development events and the more social-based events like the ski trip. There is always something going on.”
Atkins expects to recruit 350 people onto its graduate development programme in 2015.
Applications for Atkins’ 2015 summer placement programme, which this year had 165 placement opportunities filled by university student, will open in October 2014, and the apprenticeship application process is due to open in the Spring.