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Jackson celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

Civil engineering apprentice Jenny Hovell says she enjoys the combination of study and learning on-the-job that her apprenticeship with Jackson offers.

After attending Suffolk One Sixth Form College in Ipswich, Jenny joined Jackson in November 2019 with a view to learning about different aspects of the business while also studying one day a week towards a degree with Anglia Ruskin University. Her programme of learning involves a six-month period out on site combined with a number of three month spells in different parts of the business at head office. So far, Jenny has spent time working on a road widening project in Weeley, Essex and an embankment scheme at Ouse Washes in Cambridgeshire.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, she has already completed stints with the estimating team and is currently working remotely with colleagues in the QHSE department.

“My dad worked as a foreman in civil engineering, so it is a sector I’ve always been interested in,” said Jenny who recently celebrated her 20th birthday. “I also love maths, so a career as a civil engineer is a good fit.”

Jenny Hovell Jenny is just one of a number of apprentices across Jackson, which also runs apprenticeships in areas such as IT and quantity surveying. The company’s occupational work supervisor apprenticeship is also an important part of the business’s succession planning as it develops site workers into foremen.

Since 2015 Jackson has been a proactive member of the 5% Club, a group of likeminded employers committed to developing diverse workforces through skills-based training and employment opportunities. The company actively recruits apprentices, trainees and graduates and currently has a total of 9% of its staff on training schemes, including 3% on approved apprenticeship programmes.

Jenny says she enjoys the mixture of study and learning on-the-job that an apprenticeship affords. “I can put things into practice straightaway,” she says. And she is already sure she wants to build her career with Jackson, most likely in an office-based role, saying: “Everyone has been so friendly and helpful – I really like the company. My ambition is to stay and work my way up through the business.”

National Apprenticeship Week 2021 runs from 8 to 14 February 2021.