15th February 2023

Meet Apprentice Engineer Andrew Smales

In the wake of National Apprenticeship Week, we catch up with Apprentice Engineer, Andrew Smales, who gives us an insight into his role at Riverside, Sunderland.

Apprentice Engineer, Andrew Smales is currently completing his final year at Teesside University, where he studies a Degree Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering.

 As part of his apprenticeship in an engineering role at Sir Robert McAlpine, Andrew is working on our Riverside, Sunderland project which recently celebrated the topping out of two new office buildings that will change the face of Sunderland city centre. Andrew will soon be progressing onto his end point assessment and securing his professional accreditation as an Incorporated Engineer with the Institute of Civil Engineering.

What I enjoy most about my apprenticeship is how the experience I gain working on site enhances my confidence as an engineer and my academic learning.

Read more From Andrew Smales, Apprentice Engineer
Andrew Smales

Andrew Smales, Apprentice Engineer

What I enjoy most about my apprenticeship is how the experience I gain working on site enhances my confidence as an engineer and my academic learning. I chose to enter the construction industry as I’ve always had an interest in Civil Engineering as a result of the stories my Grandfather used to share when he was a Civil Engineer for Hartlepool Council and some of scenarios he dealt with. My route to where I am now academically started with studying a BTEC Level 3 in Construction and the Built Environment, then a HNC in Civil Engineering and then onto a BEng in Civil Engineering.

Close From Andrew Smales, Apprentice Engineer

An apprenticeship route into construction was the perfect opportunity for Andrew because he wanted to gain hands-on experience, boost his confidence, and learn on the job.

He has many career highlights to date, including winning the IStructE Student Prize in 2022 which, he said, was “a big moment as structural engineering was always my weakest subject academically and my greatest challenge that required a lot of effort to overcome.”

Andrew also passed his first Professional Accreditation with the ICE and become an EngTech member in 2019.

I would recommend Sir Robert McAlpine as a good place to work as it’s very rare to see a construction company that is so family orientated and so invested in improving its staff to become the very best a construction company has to offer.

So what’s next for Andrew? Over the next five years, he’s aspiring to complete his apprenticeship in Civil Engineering and is hoping to and become a Package Engineer for Sir Robert McAlpine!


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Early careers

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