Record number of new graduates recruited by Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions
Not many people can say they’ve spent their working day helping to provide electricity to the city of Manchester, or ensuring that millions of homes have access to clean water. However, some of the 21 new graduates who joined Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions recently will be able to claim just that, as they begin their careers as civil and design engineers on the company’s projects across the country in the electricity, gas and water sectors.
At a time when one in five graduates are out of work, Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, a specialist business within the global Balfour Beatty Group, has announced that a record number of university leavers have been recruited through its graduate recruitment programme.
The 2011 intake will see 21 graduates join the business, compared to seven in 2010; a 200% increase. The majority of these will join the company as graduate engineers, though there will also be graduates joining a range of essential head office functions, including legal and business development.
The Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions graduate scheme lasts for 24 or 30 months, depending upon field, during which time graduates gain an in depth knowledge of the business whilst being supported through an ongoing development programme, leading to membership and accreditation with professional bodies, such as the Institution of Civil Engineers. The graduates will be working on a range of projects, from helping to design and construct new electricity towers and high voltage cable tunnels, to working with teams to repair and renew sewerage infrastructure.
The graduate scheme is part of Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions’ wider recruitment programme, aimed at ensuring the utilities sector has the experience and capabilities to complete projects in the future, both in the UK and internationally. The company also offers various apprentice schemes and extensive ongoing training and development for new and existing employees, which usually results in nationally recognised qualifications.
Samantha Harrigan is one of the new graduates, having just completed a MEng in Civil Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. She said:
"I chose the Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions graduate scheme as it offers an extensive ongoing support programme and the opportunity to advance in an area I am very interested in. I’m very pleased to have been able to secure a place with such a large company which will expose me to opportunities and work areas which I may not otherwise have had the chance to explore.
"I would encourage anyone with an interest in engineering to seriously consider it as a choice of career. There are so many opportunities in a variety of sectors and, with the introduction of new types of energy generation, such as offshore, there’s never been a more exciting time to be in the utilities sector in particular.”
Bob Marsden, Director of People and Organisational Development at Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, said:
"We’re delighted to welcome our 2011 intake of graduates to Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions. The utilities industry is facing a growing skills shortage, especially in the electricity sector, where research conducted by Energy and Utility Skills suggests there will be a shortfall of around 9,000 skilled workers by 2014 and, with 80% of the entire workforce due to retire by 2025, this has the potential to deepen.
"It is vital that we continue to nurture talent and develop the next generation of engineers within our industry to ensure we have a sustainable workforce for the future. As a company, we are constantly looking for the best and brightest new industry talent and I’m sure this year’s graduates will make a great contribution to the business over the coming years.”