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Costain reports significant increase in mature apprentices

Smart infrastructure company Costain has increased the number of mature apprentices working for them in the last 6 years.

Since 2013 the company has welcomed nearly 100 mature apprentices between the ages of 25-55. They have also seen an increase in the number of female apprentices, hoping to challenge stereotypes of the age and background of people who join the construction industry.

Costain’s latest recruits are 50% women and have been placed in ‘non-traditional’ roles like planning and quantity surveying. There has been a 183% increase in apprentices above the age of 25, and a quarter of the new recruits are over 30.

Group HR director at Costain, Sally Austin, said: “The vast array of apprentices joining teams across our business highlights that entering a new sector and developing new expertise isn’t restricted to those leaving school or university. You can become an apprentice at any age and it is vital that any stigma around over 25 year olds entering a new profession at foundation level is eradicated.”

“We welcome people from all backgrounds and ages onto our apprenticeship programmes and is it pleasing to see this current shift in the perception of such schemes. It is always rewarding to watch apprentices on their journey as they develop and hone their expertise in their practise areas and go on to become highly skilled, full-time employees on our projects and we look forward to welcoming many more in the future.”

Costain’s apprenticeship schemes run for up to 3 years and the company offers Intermediate, Advanced, Higher, and Degree level qualifications with the option to progress onto the next level once a course is complete. Courses include ‘design and engineering’, ‘project management’, ‘digital and technology’, and ‘business administration’.

The apprenticeship scheme has proved successful, with just above 80% staying with the company after their course has ended. The company’s infrastructure projects include the recent upgrades to London Bridge Station and the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

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