News Article

Scottish Apprenticeship Week is about celebrating the benefits apprenticeships bring to businesses, individuals and the economy.

This provides the perfect opportunity to draw attention to and recognise the important role Modern Apprentices and young people play in the housing sector and other organisations in which they work.

For 18 months, Erinn Gray, a student studying Civil Engineering at the University of Dundee joined the team at DJ Laing Contracts for work experience.

Erinn started her Civil Engineering journey at school, having a keen interest in technical subjects, this then lead to her studying Civil Engineering.

Erinn excelled in her studies and was accepted to study for a fifth year for a master’s degree.  Throughout her first year of studies, as a student she became aware no practical engineering experience was offered within her course. 

This prompted her to contact DJ Laing Contracts enquiring about work experience, as a local company working within civil engineering sector.

Following a short meeting with Glenn Knox, Project Manager and Gavin Watson, Contracts Manager of DJ Laing Contracts, it was arranged for Erinn to shadow onsite management.

During Erinn’s time with DJ Laing Contracts she discussed the benefits of working out-with her studies and within the civil engineering industry – which she wouldn’t have been exposed to in an academic environment. 

‘Without experience with DJ Laing, after my graduation I would be a qualified site engineer without having ever been on a site.’

Erinn experienced onsite engineering, gained knowledge and confidence in the use of equipment and reading engineering drawings, setting out data from drawings, levelling the plotted data points of a road or foundation. 

The skills she learnt during the summer allowed her to become more confident in carrying out tasks more independently. In the future, Erinn is looking to gain more experience in a design office and has a keen interest in renewable energy. 

Glenn Knox, Project Manager of DJ Laing Contracts commented: “As a learner Erinn has made great strides during her time due to a willingness to listen, learn and adapt to all the types of work the company undertook. “

“I wish Erinn all the best and have no doubt she will go on to be very successful in her civil engineering career.  She was a pleasure to work with and will always be welcome at DJ Laing.”

Erinn commented on her time with DJ Laing :

“I found my time with DJ Laing extremely beneficial throughout my studies and I’m sure I will continue to use the skills I’ve learned in my future career.’”

“‘I’d absolutely recommend anyone who is studying engineering to look for work experience. I believe it has helped me become more confident and I have gained knowledge which is essential for a qualified engineer to have.  Without this experience I would have been at a disadvantage entering a workplace without practical skills after my time at university.’