As an apprentice with Balfour Beatty, Northampton College student Tom Skinner is helping to play a vital role in creating the infrastructure for one of the county’s biggest and most-needed infrastructure projects.
The reconfiguration of the A43, the main link road between Northampton and Kettering, is seen as pivotal to the economic prosperity of the county, providing better links for industry and ensuring commuters’ journeys to work are quicker, easier and safer.
For Tom, it is a chance to learn essential skills to last a lifetime and put into practice techniques he is picking up during a five year apprenticeship with the civil engineering giants.
He said: “I come to site in the morning and get involved with the ‘setting out’ – dealing with the sub-contractors and making sure all the manholes, drains and kerbs are being built in the right place, at the right height and at the right time.
“It’s brilliant to have this opportunity on such an important project near to where I grew up and on a project that I know is going to affect so many peoples’ lives.
“I previously studied mechanical engineering but switched to civil engineering and love it. I’m thriving on the responsibility and having much more input into projects I’m working on.
“Northampton College has been amazing for me. Everyone there is very student-focused and everything is aimed at preparing the next generation of workers. I can definitely see myself staying at Balfour Beatty and working my hardest. I’m grateful for the opportunity and determined to make the most of it.”
Tom, from Rushden, started out doing a two-day-a-week work placement with Balfour Beatty before being encouraged to apply for an apprenticeship role. He will now reap the rewards of being able to earn while he learns ahead of studying for a degree as part of his apprenticeship.