At only 18 years old Callum Savage, a digital reinforcement engineering apprentice, has already worked on a number of projects around the country, including Hinkley Point C, London’s Northern Line extension and Liverpool Street Station. He’s six months in and has so far enjoyed the variety in projects he’s been working on.
An apprentice for a digital age
Callum’s apprenticeship is very specialised and focuses on detailing in Computer Aided Design (CAD) programmes, but it’s what he’s always been interested in.
“I did mechanical engineering at college, which had a CAD unit in it, and that helped my decision when I was applying for an apprenticeship,” he explains.
“This apprenticeship is the first of its kind, and I applied because I didn’t want to go down the path of a post-16 course followed by university. I wanted the opportunity to earn and learn at the same time.”
Getting to grips
“Before we started the apprenticeship, we did a 10-week intensive training course because we needed to be brought up to speed with the CAD programmes and learn how to detail,” Callum says.
“At first it was hard to get to grips with, like learning how to analyse drawings and implementing the software for what we’re working on, but I understand it now.”
There’s also a sense of camaraderie in Callum’s team, as he explains. “We have a laugh while we’re getting the work done, which helps. Each apprentice is given a buddy, and we basically shadow them. They keep an eye on us and we can ask them any questions,” he says.
“It’s all still new to me, having only been doing it for six months,” Callum replies when asked whether he’ll explore other areas of the industry.
“However, I know that with Laing O’Rourke, there are always opportunities to go into other areas you that might want to learn more about, like planning or moving on-site to be a digital engineer.”
Callum talks enthusiastically about his hopes for the future: “I’d like to stay with Laing O’Rourke, but I’m hoping to work towards a higher qualification and, even in a few years, a degree.”