We spoke to Zainab Vaid, Temporary Works Design Engineering Apprentice with Costain

Can you describe your role in a few words?

I prepare and assist in the design of temporary works for Area East of the HS2 South project, working with designers and Temporary Works Coordinators.

What were you doing prior to your Apprenticeship?

I was in college studying A-levels at London Design & Engineering UTC. I studied Art, Maths, and a Level 3 course in Built Environment & Architecture. It was from this course that I gained a better insight into the construction industry from field trips to work sites and getting a chance to collaborate with professionals within the industry.

What was your perception of the sector before you started your apprenticeship?

I assumed it mainly involved site work, I didn’t realise how many different roles there were in the construction industry, and how each role plays a vital part in delivering a project.

What interested you in joining Costain?

The apprenticeship scheme that they were offering, and the opportunity to work and study towards a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. I was also fascinated by the infrastructure projects Costain was delivering, for example for Tideway East and HS2 which are both exciting long-term projects.

What are the key things you’ve learnt so far in your job?

I think the key things are:

  • Improved team working skills
  • Learning how to design temporary works & using analysis software & computer aided design
  • Learning about how things are constructed first-hand such as tunnelling, piling etc.

What is the most exciting part of your role?

Definitely being able to solve problems through design and planning, and finally being able to see the end result.

What would you like to do after completing your apprenticeship?

I would like to continue pursing design engineering as I have recently moved into this department, from previously being a site engineer for the first 4 years of my apprenticeship. In terms of long-term goals, I would like to work on international projects, particularly in the Middle East / Far East Asia, and perhaps experience working for a consultancy.