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News releases 2015

Design, engineering and project management consultancy Atkins and community organising charity Citizens UK have launched a new community programme to provide engineering work experience, training and support for hundreds of young people, parents and teachers from five schools in three East London Boroughs. The new programme follows a successful pilot which has seen 20 young people complete internships with Atkins, with eight now in full time employment with the company.

Pathways to Engineering has been developed in partnership with London-based schools and colleges, and builds on best practice from other UK STEM programmes. It prepares students for internships with big engineering companies like Atkins, and ultimately gives them the opportunity to apply for apprenticeship opportunities with these companies.

Allan Cook, Atkins’ chairman, said: “Not every young person knows what their career path will be and the choice can be more challenging if you aren’t even sure of the type of roles out there. Our partnership with Citizens UK has been a win-win for everyone involved. For Atkins we’ve been introduced to some brilliant young people that perhaps wouldn’t otherwise have considered engineering as a career. In return we’ve given them valuable work experience in the world of engineering and an understanding of how through this career choice they could have an opportunity to enrich people’s lives through their work.”

Dan Firth, lead organiser at Citizens UK, said: “We’re very excited about Pathways to Engineering. This kind of programme has a real impact on the community, which is what Citizens UK is all about. Having influential companies like Atkins backing it means that Pathways has a real chance of making a difference to young people.”

Pathways to Engineering has its roots in Atkins’ London 2012 legacy promise and is part of Citizen UK’s ‘Good Jobs’ campaign which aims to help 8,000 talented young people from diverse backgrounds access a good job opportunity by 2020. The campaign focuses on sectors like engineering where the UK currently has big skills gaps.

The Good Jobs campaign, and Pathways to Engineering in particular, is one step towards taking practical action to address the UK engineering skills deficit. And it has already started to make an impact.

Sanna Shabir, one of Atkins’ first interns in 2012, said: “I was feeling pretty bleak about the future. I wasn’t pleased with my A level results and thought I would have to get a job in a shop whilst I decided what to do next. Now, thanks to the scheme with Atkins and Citizens UK I’ve got an exciting future. I’ve secured myself a full time apprenticeship with Atkins to become a civil engineer, a job I’d never even considered before, and have already learnt so much.”

The next round of the Pathways to Engineering scheme starts in September 2015 with five schools and colleges in East London. Atkins and Citizens UK are calling on other engineering firms to support the programme and their vision of extending Pathways to Engineering London wide and beyond. 


For more information:

D'yon Peoples
Communications manager, Design and Engineering
Tel: +44 1454 662026

Notes to editors:

Engineering companies and schools looking to get involved with Pathways can contact: 

Atkins ( is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing some 18,000 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins’ recent projects on our website.

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A number of Atkins’ interns have now secured full time employment with the company. Pictured from left to right: Brian Nwike, Krishan Pujara, Rebekah Webber and Sanna Shabir.
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Former Atkins interns visit the Olympic Park where Pathways to Engineering first started. 
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Sanna Shabir is one of the first Pathways to Engineering interns and is now in her first year of a civil engineering apprenticeship with Atkins. 
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