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Hannah

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Hannah's STORY

Civil Engineering and Design Apprentice
Wessex Water

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Hannah wanted to pursue a civil engineering degree directly after sixth form, but her GCSE grades didn’t allow her to take that path. The apprenticeship option provided an alternative route to reach the same destination.

I am a civil engineering and design apprentice. Currently, I’m working on my Construction Design and Build Technician HNC Level 4 for the built environment. My long-term goal is to achieve a Level 6 Civil Engineering Degree.

At the moment, I’m involved in treatment and M&E (mechanical and electrical) design within the civil engineering field. Our day-to-day work in the civil design team varies, but it mainly involves sorting tasks related to AMP 8 (Asset Management Period 8).

Looking ahead to the period from 2025 to 2030, our responsibilities include developing solutions for site operations. We conduct hydraulic analyses throughout the day, and occasionally, this also requires site visits.

One challenge we face is missing survey information related to the inlet works. When we identify gaps, we make sure to document and record the necessary details.

Additionally, our team assists other departments. For instance, I work on projects related to invasive species, where I install boot scrubs, wash stations, and dip tanks at reservoirs.

Although I only started in August, I’m finding the experience rewarding. My interest in engineering has always been strong. Originally, I wanted to pursue a civil engineering degree directly after sixth form, but my GCSE grades didn’t allow me to take that path. The apprenticeship option provided an alternative route to reach the same destination.

Adjusting to the transition from A-levels (with a significant break of about two months) to a full-time work schedule and college coursework was challenging. However, I’ve settled into it now, and I’m grateful for the support from Wessex Water.

As an apprentice, remember that there are people around you who can assist with college work. If you need time during the day to review material with someone, they’re there to help you navigate your career.

Why did you choose to work in the water industry?

I think the fact that everyone needs water—it’s a job for life. The industry will always be relevant, and you can’t escape its importance. Additionally, because it’s such a large industry you have the flexibility to move between job roles and explore different areas. Whether you want to be an engineer or work in the scientific aspects of it, there’s a tremendous opportunity. Overall, I believe it’s a vast and impactful industry.

What is the most interesting mind-blowing unexpected thing that you’ve learned during your apprenticeship so far?

I’ve only been here for six months, and so far, pretty much everything has blown my mind. The sheer number of acronyms everyone uses was crazy to start with. However, working in treatment at the moment and collaborating with the process team is amazing. The way they obtain new permits and strategically rearrange things on-site to meet targets is honestly quite mind-boggling. Additionally, understanding the financial aspects—how much money is allocated for different purposes—is fascinating. The scale of operations and the projected growth over the next few years are equally impressive. It’s all just mind-blowing.

Everyone needs water—it’s a job for life. The industry will always be relevant, and you can’t escape its importance.
– Hannah Roberts
Civil Engineering and Design Apprentice, Wessex Water

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