People & Careers roundup

CIHT has presented Crossrail 2 boss Michele Dix with its Institution Award. The award recognises excellence within the transportation profession and celebrates individuals who, through their work,have made a significant contribution that has benefited the public and the profession.

Amey technical director Christina Jackson has been awarded the ‘Lifetime achievement in engineering’ at the Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) Awards. The accolade recognises her 37 years of dedication to civil engineering consultancy including her academic and technical success. The awards also highlighted her passion for raising the profile of civil engineering and her commitment to mentoring the next generation of engineers.

Balfour Beatty has launched a series of workshops aimed at getting more young children to consider construction as a career as they make their GCSE subject choices at school. The first workshops called ‘Construct 2 Learn’ are aimed at encouraging Year 8 students to choose GCSE subjects which can lead to construction careers such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, through a series of fun, interactive sessions with construction-related practical skills such as team work, communication, planning, and hazard perception. The first workshop was led by Balfour Beatty’s apprentices many of whom were at school themselves recently. A typical exercise involved children designing and building a structure with drinking straws, which they then have to convey, via written instructions only, to another team who then have to recreate it. Around thirty children from the Imberhorne School in East Grinstead and the Harris Academy South Norwood in London, attended the session held at the company’s London headquarters.


In Chelsea Flower Show week it has been revealed that Crossrail contractor BBMV has worked with homelessness charity Providence Row to deliver an innovative new rooftop garden aimed at supporting local homeless people in East London. The Balfour Beatty, BeMo Tunnelling, Morgan Sindall and Vinci Construction joint venture responsible for the delivery of Crossrail’s new Whitechapel and Liverpool Street Station tunnels, has worked to transform the charity’s previously unused courtyard and roof top into an area where the charity can train the homeless in catering and in the preparation of nutritious meals for 30-50 homeless people every day. The areas also provide therapeutic spaces, off the street, where homeless people can go to relax. It will also be the site of a brand new Gardening Trainee Scheme which is due to be launched by the charity later in the Spring.

Consulting engineers, lawyers, accountants and actuaries could be replaced by artificial intelligence by as early a 2025 according to futurologist Graeme Codrington of TomorrowTodayGlobal. "Any professional that is mainly involved in dealing with information is going to be replaced by algorithms and AI," he said. He also predicted that private bankers and wealth managers will be replaced with algorithms. More here

There were 1.8 million applications for apprenticeships, but there were just 166,000 apprenticeship vacancies advertised last year, according to the Local Government Association. Two thirds (67 per cent) of intermediate or advanced level (Level 2 or 3) apprentices were already employed by their company. This means that instead of helping young people from unemployment into work, current apprenticeships policy is often enabling companies to train their established, older workforce. Since 2010, 42 per cent of apprenticeship starts have been over the age of 25 rather than young people entering work. In 2013/14 under 19s made up 56 per cent of applications but only 27 per cent of starts, whereas people aged over 25 made up 7 per cent of applications, but accounted for 37 per cent of starts, the LGA said. See more 

Morrison Utility Services has announced the appointed of Jim Arnold  as chief operating officer. Arnold joined Morrison Utility Services in 1998 as an Area Manager before being appointed a Director in 2000, Executive Director in 2009 and a Group Board Director in 2013.  

Osborne has appointed John Dowsett as managing director of its infrastructure business. He joined Osborne as a graduate civil engineer in 1996 and was most recently MD of Osborne’s Network Rail framework partnership, One Team Wessex.