Future engineer sets out on dream career after securing apprenticeship

South Dock Bridge with Adil

A former cinema worker from Poplar is starring in his own epic adventure after securing a place as an apprentice engineer through the council’s WorkPath employment and skills service.

Adil Ahmed, 22, spends four days a week working at Arcadis, the engineering firm chosen to deliver the new bridge that will span South Dock in Canary Wharf.

The former St Paul’s Way Trust pupil spends the fifth day at East London University, studying towards his ultimate goal – a degree in civil engineering.

“It’s a big change from the cinema,” said Adil. “I started six weeks ago and so far it’s been really good. I’ve done lots of training and while it’s all new to me, I’ve been given lots of help.”

Adil’s cousin had previously secured a job with leading broadband firm Hyperoptic after getting in touch with the council’s WorkPath team, so Adil wanted to give it a shot.

“They were really helpful with letting me know about this opportunity and preparing me for the interview,” he said. “I felt quite relaxed. It was more like a conversation where I got to talk about why I was interested in the role and what I had researched.”

Adil had always wanted to be an engineer, studying maths, double maths and physics at A Level. But when he had to cut his time at university short, he wondered if he might have to put those career aspirations behind him.

But now, just weeks into his new role, he has been given the task of using artificial intelligence and virtual reality tools to help simulate the future bridge. It’s an emerging area of expertise for Arcadis that will put the apprentice engineer at the forefront of his new trade.

He added: “I’m really enjoying everything I’m doing. My family is proud and I can’t wait to see where this opportunity takes me.”

Mayor John Biggs said: “I’m delighted that a visit to WorkPath has resulted in Adil securing this exciting opportunity. The South Dock Bridge is a major project for the borough and it’s great to know that our brightest young minds are involved in it.

“I’ve made a commitment to help create 1,000 apprenticeship opportunities for Tower Hamlets residents by 2020. They are a fantastic option for people of all ages who are looking for a route into a new career and I hope Adil is just one of many success stories in our borough.”

Cllr Motin Uz-Zaman, Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth, added: “We often hear that young people aren’t interested in technical careers or in seizing the opportunities that are available in fields such as engineering. Adil is showing that isn’t the case.

“WorkPath continues to be the vital link between our residents and the jobs of the future. I am proud of the efforts of the team there and look forward to seeing more apprentices set out on the path to success.”

The new South Dock Bridge is due to open in 2022. An initial consultation was conducted last year and the council is now in the process of finalising a design. A further consultation will take place in the new year as work gets underway on a full planning application.

Arcadis is a leading global design and consultancy organisation for natural and built assets. The firm employs 27,000 people and is active in over 70 countries with revenues in the region of €3.3 billion.

Posted on Friday 1st November 2019