Atkins grad scheme has highest ever female numbers

Engineering consultancy Atkins has welcomed more than 350 new graduates and apprentices to its UK operations, with females making up a larger proportion than ever.

The proportion of women in UK engineering remains stubbornly around 7 per cent

In total, 272 will take on graduate roles, with 84 new apprentices starting out at the company. According to Atkins, the gender ratio of this year’s graduate and apprentice cohort is more balanced than ever, with women accounting for 31 per cent of new graduates and 21 per cent of new apprentices.

“Graduates and apprentices will be our leaders and visionaries of tomorrow, helping to shape our rapidly-changing and increasingly digitally-enabled world, and continuing to push the boundaries of what is possible,” said Nick Roberts, chief executive officer for Atkins UK & Europe. “I can’t think of a more exciting time to begin a career in design, engineering and project management.”

While the numbers mark a positive move for more gender balance across the company, Roberts admits that more work needs to done to address the issue.

“Although we must not underestimate the challenge that we still face in ensuring our workforce is both talented and diverse, I’m proud to see that the steps we’ve taken to recruit a more diverse early careers workforce have shown a positive impact,” he said.

Nearly one-third (90) of the grad intake will be assigned to Atkins’ infrastructure division, along with 27 apprentices. Other business lines to welcome young engineers as part of the intake include energy, transport and defence. According to Jenny Willbourn, a graduate at Atkins, the company’s grad scheme provides enough flexibility to allow young engineers to forge their own career paths.

“I joined Atkins as a graduate because of our reputation as market leaders and the ingenuity, knowledge and dedication of our staff,” she said.

“What I like about the scheme is that we’re quickly treated as part of the team. There has been a huge range of opportunities for me and there’s enough flexibility for everyone to shape the direction of their own graduate development. I’d recommend the graduate scheme to anyone who wants to jump right in and develop their knowledge for their chosen field.”