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PlanBEE hire for B&W Engineering

A global MEP design consultancy with offices in Newcastle upon Tyne has partnered with a leading North East college to attract and develop future design engineers.

Working with Gateshead College, Black and White (B&W) Engineering actively participates in PlanBEE (Plan for Built Environment Education), a pioneering UK training programme designed to create skilled jobs in the construction, engineering and built environment sector.

As a result, the consultancy has hired PlanBEE graduate Abby Broadbent as a trainee mechanical engineer in its North East data centre team. Abby provides support for mechanical and public health design engineering projects, whilst studying part time for her BEng (Hons) Building Services Engineering degree at Leeds Beckett University.

Student placements are a key part of PlanBEE which is an industry driven higher apprenticeship scheme.  Following Abby’s four-month placement, she applied for the position B&W created for PlanBEE graduates and consequently secured her current role.

Steven Horn, UK and Europe Director at B&W Engineering, said: “We’re heavily invested in developing our workforce, offering training and continued support to ensure every employee excels in their role at B&W. Investment into future design engineers is also a key priority for us as not only does it futureproof the industry by helping to tackle skills shortages, it also enables us to ensure young professionals are equipped with the tools and training they need to enjoy successful and rewarding careers.

“During her PlanBEE placement, Abby proved to be an intelligent professional with an appetite to learn and develop. She jumped straight into live projects and managed and progressed her work very well. The feedback received from other members of the team was extremely positive and it was great to see her apply for the graduate engineer role and succeed in securing the job.”

People development is a key part of B&W’s ethos and the firm places specific emphasis on developing design engineers for the future through industry partnerships and student placements such as PlanBEE and graduate programmes. Earlier this year, B&W launched its Global Academy for Learning, which gives its global team the opportunity to learn and grow through encouraging a culture of continuous learning, providing opportunities to develop skills and knowledge relevant for current and future roles and supporting personal and professional development. A hands-on approach to learning means that work placement students, interns and graduate colleagues can learn by doing as they apply their academic learning in a real-world MEP setting, while supported by mentors and project teams.

Chris Toon, Deputy Principal at Gateshead College, said: “We’ve got a long standing relationship with B&W and the company has continued to take a proactive role in PlanBEE. We’re delighted that one of our students has secured a full time, permanent role with them and is progressing well at the firm.

“Since its launch in 2016 over 50 of the largest construction, engineering and built environment businesses have been involved in the programme and it continues to be hugely successfully in equipping the sector’s future workforce with the work ready skills the industry needs to continue to innovate and grow. Well done, Abby – we wish you every success for the future.”

The company, which also has UK offices in Edinburgh, Manchester and London, is currently experiencing a period of exponential growth. Globally, it has a presence in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe and now employs over 400 professionals worldwide. Global headcount has grown by more than 50% in the last 12 months and 22% in the UK and Europe, with staff levels having increased by 23% in the North East specifically.

Abby, a trainee mechanical engineer at B&W, said: “Through my PlanBEE placement at B&W, I gained valuable, real-world experience working on live client projects. I also felt completely supported during my placement and learnt so much in a short space of time. My opinions were valued, and I felt included as a key member of the team. When the graduate job opportunity was advertised, I jumped at the chance to apply as the role also enables me to study part time for a mechanical engineering degree alongside supportive line management and well-defined career progression routes. One of the best things about working at B&W is the diversity of work and freedom to gain experience within the consultancy’s different sectors and learn from everyone on the team, across all levels. I am very pleased to have secured my new role – B&W is a great company to work for and I feel equipped with the tools, training and support required to excel in my job.”

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Abby Broadbent, trainee mechanical engineer at B&W Engineering

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