BLOG: Apprentice employer Amanda's story

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Chloe Reed - Business Admin apprentice taking part in a virtual call with Amanda

As part of National Apprenticeship Week we are shining the spotlight on some of the apprenticeship employers we work with. Amanda from Costain, tells us in her own words how she’s been supporting their apprentices during the pandemic and the support she’s received from us.

My name is Amanda Hare and I’m an assurance manager at Costain, working on the A1 Scotswood to North Brunton project in partnership with Jacobs delivering improvements to the A1 around Newcastle. As an assurance manager I make sure all our project activity is in line with Costain standards as well as national and international business standards.

I supervise Chloe Reed, our business administration apprentice, with the support of Emma Hughes and Natalie Peacock in the Employment, Education and Skills team. Chloe works on a wide variety of different tasks across disciplines including assurance, document control, safety, health and environment administration, communications and equality diversity and inclusion. My role is to set objectives for Chloe that are aligned with her studies, agree an action plan, monitor, and provide feedback and support to help her achieve her study and work goals.

We have seven apprentices working on our North East project portfolio who all started last September: some are working from home, whilst others are working on site, all socially distanced. They all joined us during the pandemic, so the start of their careers has not been how anyone planned with all the lockdown restrictions to their working environment. They have immersed themselves in the culture of our business and projects and have built great relationships with their immediate teams, as well as the wider team, despite never physically meeting them.

Their studies with Gateshead College have been a mix of online classes and physical classes. I think that the main thing this has demonstrated is how flexible the apprentices are and how determined they are to do well in their apprenticeships. Chloe is working from home full time but her energy, enthusiasm and dedication have not been dented by the unusual circumstances and she has shown herself more than ready to adapt to whatever is required of her.

Gateshead College has provided excellent support to date for both Chloe and me in a very transparent and helpful way. Olivia Dixon, our apprentice support manager, makes herself available outside of the online classes, answering questions as and when they arise. Olivia is invaluable to both of us and we are grateful for her constant support, which has been shown to be essential to the overall success of an apprenticeship.

Amanda works for Costain, a smart infrastructure solutions company that designs, delivers and manages critical national infrastructure projects in the energy, water, transport and defence sectors. Creating apprenticeships and nurturing young talent is an integral part of Costain’s leading edge strategy to identify, develop and implement innovative solutions to meet national needs.

Fri Mar 05 2021