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Civil Engineer Meg is streets ahead on Graduate Apprenticeship

Work-based learning Apprenticeships Graduate apprenticeships STEM

Civil engineer Meg Scott chose a Graduate Apprenticeship after deciding the traditional university route wasn't for her.

Now Elgin born Meg is helping make the world a greener place while inspiring the next generation of engineers.

Meg, who lives in Glasgow, has impressed colleagues, clients and industry leaders since starting her Civil Engineering apprenticeship in September 2019 with AECOM, a global engineering firm that aims to create sustainable legacies.

Passion for sustainable travel

At the firm’s Glasgow office Meg is part of the streets team which supports the nation's net zero goals. Meg is responsible for the development of signalised junctions, traffic calming measures and walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure design through concept to technical design stages.

Meg said: “Sustainable travel really piques my interest. Sustainability is such a massive thing in the world and it's the way to move forward. With civil engineering you can see what you're giving back to the world in physical form.”

Graduate Apprentice Of The Year Meg Scott

Meg, who is 21, has already become a valuable team member having completed Civils 3D training. She put this learning into practice by developing a full signalised junction design in Aviemore and the drawing package has been used to secure construction funding and support the appointment of a contractor for the construction in early 2022.

Playing part in net zero goal

AECOM Associate Director Peter Leslie said: “Meg’s passion for engineering lies in its importance in lowering our carbon footprint and creating a sustainable future.

“Applying to join our streets team at AECOM allowed Meg to explore the role active travel will play in the nation's goal to achieve net zero.

“There were over 100 applicants for one job and Meg got it, thanks to her passion for engineering and her excellent communication skills.”

Gaining praise

Meg has also gained praise working on the development of Glasgow City Council ‘Spaces for People’ schemes. Because of tight project turnaround times, good project quality and communication management were essential to get the job done.

Peter said: “Our client from Glasgow City Council fed back to the project manager the following “you have an excellent member of staff in Meg, a great asset to your team”.

“Through involvement in ‘Spaces for People’ and ‘Places for Everyone’ projects Meg identified that the way of thinking about transport is changing and that we are looking forward to developing our national cycle networks, one route at a time.”

Inspiring next generation

Meg actively strives to inspire future generations of engineers through involvement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in collaboration with Scouts Scotland.

Meg was able to take what she has been working on for the Council to support her role as a Cub Scout Section Leader, by planning safe cycle routes to allow her Cubs to earn their Cycling badges.

The innovative apprentice also uses her knowledge to deliver STEM activities to her wider community, including green and sustainable transport solutions.

Meg became the 2020 Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) Scotland Apprentice of the Year, where she was commended for her commitment, drive and passion for the transportation sector, as well as displaying overarching values conducive of CIHT. This led to Meg being nominated for the UK award.

Graduate Apprenticeships are a way to get qualified up to Master’s degree level while in paid employment.

Designed by education and employers, Graduate Apprenticeships are offered in key sectors that need highly skilled employees.

Independence and confidence

Meg said: “From school I went to university. But after one year I realised it wasn't for me as I'm more of a practical learner. I decided on a Graduate Apprenticeship as I know how beneficial it is to gain real experience while learning and earning.”

Meg said: “I've gained lots of technical skills during my Graduate Apprenticeship.

“Taking an apprenticeship has also given me a sense of independence and built my confidence.

“Whilst I'm a scout leader too and organised, the apprenticeship has also brought on my time management. By learning and earning through an apprenticeship I was able to get my own place to live at 18.

“The apprenticeship has been life-changing for me and it's been great.”

Top grades

Meg’s commitment to the academic learning provided by Glasgow Caledonian University was demonstrated during the pandemic, when she completed third year with a top grade of 92%, despite managing the transition to online learning.

Meg’s achievements has seen her recognised as Graduate Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Morrison Construction, in the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards.

In the streets team in Scotland, AECOM has around 30 people. Meg is the first apprentice in that team, although there have been others in the business.

Peter said: “One of the benefits to the business of Graduate Apprenticeships is that when Meg graduates she'll already have had three years’ experience working with us. You can potentially have and 18-year-old joining the company who will be a graduate by the time they are 21.

“Apprenticeships are good for people development. A Graduate Apprentice like Meg can be the line manager to the next generation of engineers.”

Scottish Apprenticeship Awards

View full list of Scottish Apprenticeship Awards winners here.