From Apprentice to Pre-Construction Coordinator

10 July 2020

We would like to extend a huge congratulations to Sophie Henderson on having recently being promoted to Pre-Construction Coordinator!

Sophie joined Howard Civil Engineering six years ago at the age of nineteen as an apprentice. Initially pursuing a career in Health and Safety, Sophie began her journey with Howard Civil Engineering on-site before taking a sideways step into Estimating, but soon realised this wasn’t the avenue she wanted to pursue.

‘Although I gained a lot of experience during my time working in Health and Safety and Estimating, I increasingly felt drawn to the idea of a client-facing role in which I could become more involved in business development,’ she said. ‘I spoke to my line manager, Peter Howard (Pre-Construction Director), who was really supportive in creating a new position for me in the business that would be more suitable.

‘In my new role, I’m looking forward to spearheading Howard Civil Engineering’s pledge to increase the sustainability of the company and helping us secure positions on various frameworks across the region. Community liaison will also be a key element of the role and I will be engaging with local communities during various schemes, particularly those on which Howard Civil Engineering are the main contractor. This includes the highly anticipated Greengates Junction Improvement Scheme for Bradford Council which will commence later this month.’

Along with her new title, Sophie will also be taking an apprentice under her wing. Daniel Heffernan joined us as a Trainee Site Engineer earlier this year before becoming a member of the Estimating team under Sophie’s tutorage. In time, Daniel will assume Sophie’s previous role as Trainee Estimator.

Sophie and Daniel.

Reflecting on her journey from apprentice to Pre-Construction Coordinator, Sophie praised Howard Civil Engineering’s apprenticeship scheme for giving her a platform to succeed: ‘Although I’ve been given a lot of responsibility from an early age, senior members of the team always take time out to make sure I understand what I’m doing and offer further support where it’s needed.

‘Howard Civil Engineering are definitely a company who nurture their apprentices whilst also giving them breathing space to learn and grow at their own pace. Compared to my peers at college, I feel like I was offered more opportunities as an apprentice at Howard Civil Engineering, and my work experience definitely exceeds that of university graduates.’

Sophie also discussed her commitment to broadening the minds of young girls considering their future career options. Supported by HCE, Sophie trained to become a STEM ambassador and has been invited into secondary schools to chat with pre-GCSE students about their career goals. ‘A lot of girls think working in construction has to be working on-site, getting dirty and doing a lot of hands-on work, when in reality construction has a variety of other areas that girls may not be aware of. I’ve always had really positive feedback from events such as these, and it’s empowering to be enlightening young girls of the options available to them in construction.’

Follow the journeys of our other apprentices as they train their way to full-time employment here!

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