Work Experience

about 1 year ago

Three students benefited from ENGIE’s social value plan for Watford Community Housing by taking part in a work experience programme at our Harebreaks site.

As part of our contracts in Watford, ENGIE delivers a menu of community impact activities to improve outcomes for local people. Our bespoke Social Value Plan focuses on improving economic stability, with an emphasis on offering and supporting access to a range of training and employment opportunities for local people. We do this through giving advice on career paths into the construction industry, including raising awareness of the diverse roles within the sector, providing support and guidance on CV-writing and interview skills, delivering free training courses and by offering opportunities for work placements and apprenticeship schemes.

ENGIE’s Community Impact Manager, Mark Bush, has been working closely with William Hill, employability Coordinator at West Herts College, to see how he could support students by offering opportunities for practical experience


In February 2019, Mark and ENGIE’s Office Administrator, Kelsey Fox, arranged for three students to take part in a six week work experience placement at our sites in Watford.

Charlie, 18, Reece, 18 and Tino, 20, are all at the Kings Langley campus of West Herts College studying towards their Level 3 in Engineering and were keen to get some hands-on experience in the construction industry.

Work placements commenced on 26th February 2019, with the students attending ENGIE for a full day every Tuesday for six weeks. During their placements, the students were able to get a real insight into different aspects of construction as they alternated between spending their time with site managers and ENGIE’s Resident Liaison Officer, Louise Todd.

ENGIE’s Marketing Coordinator, Keri Lorenzen, caught up with the students to find out more about their work experience placements.

How did you hear about the opportunity for a work placement with ENGIE?

: “We’re all at West Herts college, Kings Langley campus, studying towards our Level Three in Engineering. One of our tutors, Chris, came to us to tell us all about the opportunity. There were quite a few people interested but he put us three forward as the best applicants.”

So, what have you been doing in your first week?

Reece: “We’ve been out to visit some of the different ENGIE sites and seen a range of works you’re doing. We saw roofing, bathrooms, window installations and internal decorations. We got a chance to shadow them. We’re hoping we’ll get a chance to also see what the Resident Liaison Officers do.”

What are you hoping to do with your qualification in the future?

Charlie: “I’d like to go into aerospace engineering eventually. I’m interested in doing a weapons’ engineering apprenticeship and working for the RAF.”

Reece: “I’m not too sure what I’d like to specialise in yet. I’m going to finish the course, explore all of the options and pursue what I’m most interested in. There are a lot of options with our engineering qualification.”

Tino: “I haven’t decided yet. I know that I’m really interested in the design aspect of engineering and would like to do something in that field. I was initially thinking about being an architect but it’s a very competitive field.”

What were you hoping to gain from your work experience?

Reece: “Just getting to see a wide range of the work you do and what’s involved. It was interesting see the window being done and I’ve realised that I definitely prefer being out than the administration side of things.”

Charlie: “To see which line of work I would like to go into.”

Tino: “A better understanding of the building and construction industry.”

What have you found most interesting?

Charlie: “I found the fire risk assessment works most interesting, learning about the 30 minute fire doors.”

Reece: “I found all the steps involved interesting and learning about all the in-depth detail of projects - how if anything changes during the works, the process changes.”

Tino: “It was eye opening to find out about the amount of work a site manager has to manage and the amount of people involved in the process.”

What have you learned?

Charlie: “I learned about asbestos, how it has to be removed by specialists as it’s dangerous.”

Reece: “Probably how many people are involved in a project, the checks that are required to complete a job.”

Tino: “I have gained a knowledge of how ENGIE receives their projects and how companies like ENGIE liaise with their clients.”

How useful has the work placement been for you and why?

Charlie: “It’s been useful as it’s shown me all about the construction industry which will help in the future.”

Reece: “It’s been very useful, seeing the steps carried out during a project and how many people are involved and how any changes can affect a project. Changes due to unexpected factors can change the way the project might run. It’s been interesting to see how the site team need to work together to achieve the end result.”

Tino: “If I ever consider going into the building industry, I now have a better understanding of how the industry works. It has been very useful.”

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