Jacobs’ Chloe Pascoe on choosing the apprenticeship route

Jacobs Chloe Pascoe works in Jacobs’ Critical Mission Solutions International business and is based from the company’s Westlakes office in the northwest of England. She works in the decommissioning environment at Sellafield Ltd as a project controls engineer, encompassing cost engineering, planning in Primavera P6, estimating and risk.

Throughout my journey at Jacobs over the last four years, I have played an integral role in championing the Jacobs culture as a STEM Ambassador, Chair of Futures Cumbria (part of Jacobs Careers network), Positive Mental Health Champion and Work Experience Coordinator.

I am currently working within an integrated project team with Sellafield Ltd – Europe’s largest nuclear site. Sellafield Ltd is responsible for a range of activities from cleaning-up the country’s highest nuclear risks and hazards to safeguarding nuclear fuel, materials and waste.

Going back a few years, while studying for AS (Advanced Subsidiary) levels, the decision between applying for university or an apprenticeship seemed daunting at the time. I knew I wanted to be involved in projects and business and kept an open mindset, evaluating the options, to help me make more informed choices regarding my career path. Attending multiple university open days gave me insight into what university would entail and the skills I could develop whilst studying.

In conjunction with this, I applied for the Cumbria Dream Placement, where I was selected from over 200 applicants to take part in a regional work experience programme. This gave me the opportunity to participate in a week’s work experience with Jacobs, where I gained invaluable experience and an awareness of the company’s values and culture, various apprenticeship routes and some of the disciplines within the industry.

My work experience placement made Jacobs my number one choice to start my career, and in 2015 I started my apprenticeship. Having experienced Jacobs as a work experience student, I saw the value in having a structured work experience programme, so I worked to develop and create a new programme during my time as an apprentice.

I wanted to pass on my own experiences by expanding the portfolio of apprenticeships and raising awareness for students and graduates through the work experience programme. Within 8 months of starting, there was a 240% increase in student intake and a 58% increase in school distribution.

The programme I designed has now received an industry-led accreditation from the Industrial Cadets, an organisation that enables employers of all sizes to run accredited experiences for young people. Our Jacobs programme was recognised as a finalist in the Industrial Cadets National awards for displaying outstanding commitment and dedication in the local community. I was fortunate to be able to attend the award ceremony, which was hosted by the Prince of Wales.

Since joining Jacobs four years ago, I have been inspired to believe in my own capabilities being both a woman in engineering and woman in nuclear. This is something that gives me great pride and helps me motivate others.