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Insights How higher apprenticeships help you be the best you can be

What is a higher apprenticeship?

The Level 4, Higher Apprenticeship is the equivalent to a higher education certificate or diploma and a higher Level 5 is equivalent to a foundation degree. 

To be eligible you will typically be required to have studied to A-Level or equivalent standard. The apprenticeship will involve work-based learning towards qualifications such as NVQs, BTECs and Foundation degrees relevant to the sector worked in.

Read our selection process to learn more about the different apprenticeship levels and which one might suit you best.

Hi Katrina! Tell us about yourself.

team sitting around lunch table

“I’m Katrina Ho, and I’m doing a higher apprenticeship in the UK Transportation Civil and Structures team at Atkins, operating under AtkinsRéalis. As well as learning practical skills on the job, I’m also working part time towards a BEng in Civil Engineering.”

What drew you to engineering?

When I was growing up I wanted to be a ballerina. But at school, I loved maths and science, and more specifically physics at GCSE level. I guess my love for problem-solving led me to pursue a career in engineering. I was curious about how things worked in the physical world. Like, how does a bridge withstand the weight of all different types of vehicles?

Why AtkinsRéalis?

“When considering a civil engineering apprenticeship, I looked at what all the top consultancies had to offer. I wanted to know about the types of projects they worked on and the opportunities they had that would expand my engineering career. 

I was impressed the most by AtkinsRéalis, especially by the way they deliver high-quality work that’s driven by what’s right, not just what’s profitable. I want to be the best I can be, and so far I’m doing well here!”

What do you like the most about working at AtkinsRéalis?

“The care they give me as an individual. My needs and worries are listened to, and they offer great support when it comes to my wellbeing. I’m also inspired by the many senior engineers who started their careers the same way that I am, by doing an apprenticeship. It’s amazing to see how far they’ve come and what they’ve achieved.”

Where do you see your career going?

“I see myself becoming chartered once I’ve completed my degree and have had more experience in the industry. I’d also like to explore the opportunities civil engineering will give me in terms of working abroad. What I really want is to make a change and a difference in this world. I want to help create a more sustainable environment for us all to live in.”

What's your proudest career moment to date?

“Definitely being awarded the ICE QUEST Technician Scholarship twice in a row!”

What is the most exciting thing about engineering right now?

The advance in technology – I think it’s going to have a huge impact on the way we civil engineers manage our projects.

What would you say to someone who is considering higher apprenticeships and a career in engineering?

“It’s a great career that offers an exciting variety of work. To young women, I’d say: there’s a stigma that engineering is a masculine subject whereas in reality, it is NOT. Trying to create an equal workforce is so important and we need more women to make it happen.” 

Learn more about the number of activities and initiatives we’re involved in at AtkinsRéalis to help the next generation realise the rewarding opportunities that a STEM career can offer.

What do you do when you're not at work?

I enjoy dancing, running and watching TV – nothing better than a Netflix binge at the weekend!

Are you ready to be the best you can be?

Join AtkinsRéalis –a company of challengers, innovators, and people committed to engineering a better future for our planet and its people. 

Interested in learning while earning? Apply to join our apprenticeship program.