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Apprentice Alexis is engineering opportunities for employer

#ScotAppWeek24 Apprenticeships

Graduate Apprentice Alexis Smith’s fresh perspective has boosted productivity and profits for her employer - and her role as a STEM ambassador is helping to inspire the future skills generation too. 

Alexis knew a Graduate Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering with GRAHAM would integrate her academic learning with her professional practice – and demonstrate the skills she had acquired. 

The 22-year-old had already completed an HNC in Civil Engineering when she was offered the Trainee Planner role through a Graduate Apprenticeship with the construction and engineering firm. 

Recommendations she produced based on her own assessment of a site project have been implemented in subsequent projects, improving efficiency and saving the company money. 

Alexis, with long brown hair and black-rimmed glasses, wears a black jacket and white t-shirt, standing in front of a purple backdrop with her employer GRAHAM's logo in the background.

She said: “The highlight of my Graduate Apprenticeship has been learning the job - being able to put into practice what you learn in the classroom is a major benefit.” 

Alexis is a STEM ambassador, appearing in a video produced by GRAHAM to highlight career opportunities and showcase the benefits of Graduate Apprenticeships and she plans to volunteer in schools. She has also mentored a junior colleague. 

GRAHAM Senior Planning Manager James Craine said: "Alexis is an exceptional role model for apprentices and is already an integral part of GRAHAM. 

"She is an excellent communicator who applies the knowledge she has gained at university on site and brings a fresh perspective to the business. 

“Our apprentices bring new ideas, challenge how things are done and many of them take on big responsibilities early in their career.” 

As a result of her achievements, Alexis is a finalist in the Scottish Apprenticeships Awards within the Graduate Apprentice of the Year category sponsored by Leidos. 

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

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

Alexis’ confidence in presenting information has improved significantly – and she continually looks for innovative ways to use planning software, 

The technical knowledge gained on her apprenticeship through the University of the West of Scotland helped her understand how specific construction processes and materials impact on project delivery. 

She plans to work towards Chartered Engineer status and progress into a management role in Planning. 

University of the West of Scotland Industry Engagement Manager Fiona Kennedy said: “Alexis is one of our shining lights.  

“She’s a very capable student and has built strong professional relationships and introduced new systems in what can be a challenging environment.” 

The winner of the Graduate Apprentice of the Year category sponsored by Leidos will be revealed during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which takes place from 4 to 8 March. Find out more about the award finalists and the event by visiting 

Alexis Smith and Fiona Kennedy