A Construction Engineer who joined the super sewer project as an apprentice was first inspired by a Tideway volunteer manning a stand at Skills London.
Two years ago, Nargiz Kamalova-Payne, then aged 18, had known about the project through her engineering teacher at sixth form, but was keen to learn more at Skills London, the UK’s largest skills and employment fair for young people.
She explained: “When I was in sixth form, I heard about the Tideway project from my engineering teacher at college.
“Then I went to Skills London in the Excel Centre in east London and met one of the Tideway apprentices, Bianca Wheeler.
“We ended up speaking for about 15 minutes about Tideway; it was really good, she knew all about the apprenticeships and said how interesting the project was to work on and told me about the work experience Tideway offered.
“So, I gave her my email and she sent me an application form for work experience.”
Nargiz spent three days at the Tideway’s Cottons Centre offices, learning more about the project and participating in CV workshops before spending a couple of days on site at Carnwath Road in Fulham.
She said: “I initially wanted to go into architecture, but I changed from doing A-Levels to doing a B-Tech, because I wanted to do more practical work instead of just exams and coursework.
“From that, I realised that engineering was for me – architecture is more about how things look, but engineering looks at how it all works; there are so many sectors you can go into.
“I came to Tideway for work experience in February 2018. I worked at Cottons for three days of the week and then two on site at Carnwath Road. It was really good; I really enjoyed it.”
Nargiz remained in contact with those on the project, but when an opportunity came up to join as an apprentice, Nargiz wanted something more advanced.
She explained: “They offered me a level 3 Civil Engineering Apprenticeship course, but I didn’t want to go back to college; I’d rather move forward, so they came back and said they’d managed to get me onto another course – a Level 4 BEng Civil and Infrastructure Engineering Course.”
As an apprentice Nargiz spent one day a week at Kingston University and the rest of her time working as an Apprentice Civil Engineer at Carnwath Road.
She added: “It’s went really well; I had loads of support. Because of the course, they wanted updates on my work life and university life. Somebody from the university had to actually come in and see my line manager.”
Nargiz now works as a Construction Engineer on the super sewer project and is focussed on becoming an ‘incorporated engineer’, requiring five years’ experience, with a view to become chartered after that.
Tideway will be exhibiting at Skills London 2019 and is running #EngineerWithMe across its social media platforms showcasing some of the more than 60 apprentices working on the project.