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Construction engineer first inspired at Skills London


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.


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