Skills shortages is an issue facing the whole construction industry and will affect the highways sector. There is currently a shortfall of young people being enticed to consider training in many key roles such as engineers, project managers and supervisors. One of our objectives is to help make sure young people have an understanding of what we do, what engineering is and how it can make a difference to the built environment.

A-one+ already has in place an award winning team of ambassadors who host industry learning events and provide training as well as linking to local schools and colleges but we felt we could do more.


A-one+ has already welcome new apprentices over the years and has committed to more over the coming years. The appointments are an ongoing pledge to support local young people by providing a solid base for long-term career prospects.

The apprentices are usually school or college leavers and begin their apprenticeship during the first week in September. Applications are sought through the National Apprentice Forum and subject to a stringent shortlist and interview process.

We developed a new apprentice policy with a set of manager’s guidelines ensuring the apprentice’s career development is maximised. One day per week study is usually part of the scheme with a local education provider with Costain (a parent company of A-one+) providing a business administration course when an appropriate course was not locally available.

Each apprentice is assigned a line manager as well as a mentor to ensure full support is provided throughout the process.

Apprentice Sam Beardon, 18 from Thorne is studying Civil engineering and enjoying the varying aspects of the subject such as engineering, design, and maths and has already assisted in carrying out overnight surveys on part of the highway network. Sam said: ‘I am thrilled to be given this opportunity and I am really enjoying the different things I am learning.’


Apprentice Skye Crawford, 17 from Pontefract is the youngest of the group but has already begun work on compiling her portfolio for an NVQ in Business Administration. Skye said: ‘We have all been made to feel welcome; I am learning lots already and really feel part of the team.’