'Best of both worlds' - degree apprentices rate Superstructures experience

Liam Swann, Lee Allender, James Potter, Jake Lay-Flurrie and David Williams outside One Sixth Form College

Liam Swann, Lee Allender, James Potter, Jake Lay-Flurrie and David Williams outside One Sixth Form College - Credit: Eastern Colleges Group

Degree apprentices at Ipswich-based Superstructures have hailed the programme as an ideal progression into the engineering industry. 

Two new students from One Sixth Form College have started as apprentice structural engineers at the company, having completed qualifications in engineering. 

David Williams and Jake Lay-Flurrie join two other apprentices who joined the company in 2020 and 2019, Lee Allender and Liam Swann. All four are studying for their degrees at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford. 

David, 18, is settling into a work environment. He said: "I'm learning every day on the job, getting experience, working on real projects. 

"I'm still getting used to the nine-to-five but it's been going really well. I'm getting a degree and also four years' experience. For me it's the best way to learn and progress in this industry. 

"I want to get my degree and also qualify as a chartered structural engineer and I plan to stay with the company." 

He's following in the footsteps of 19-year-old Lee Allender, from Ipswich, who is one year ahead after coming onto the job in September 2020. 

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Lee said: "I've been here for a year and a bit now and it's been awesome really. I'm loving it. 

"The company pays for my degree and pays me a wage too." 

He said that studying alongside work can get busy "depending on how hard the module is" but with 20% of the week allocated to university studies it's manageable. 

He added: "For me it was the best thing I could've done. I wanted to start earning money as soon as I could and I wanted a degree, as most people do. This is the best of both worlds."  

Apprentices work alongside the 14-strong team helping to provide structural engineering and design services throughout East Anglia. 

James Potter, managing director of Superstructures, said: "The relationship with One and the degree apprenticeship initiative has been a great success for us.  

"The addition of Liam, Lee, David and Jake means that we're building a team for the future. Having well-rounded young people in the business that we can develop alongside their education is, absolutely, the way forward and enables us to keep growing as a company."

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