Work Experience Stories

Every year, The Switch works with around 2,500 students to help them find meaningful and worthwhile work experience placements.

We place students in a whole range of sectors, from retail to finance, from education to graphic design.

We encourage students to focus on the transferrable skills they can develop in any workplace, no matter what their chosen future career may be.

Inspiring Future Female Engineers – Bouygues UK

We arranged for Shahla Corbett, a Year 10 student from Morpeth School in Bethnal Green, who undertook a week-long work experience placement at Bouygues UK, one of the country’s leading construction firms.

Shahla was based just around the corner from her school, on site at one of the firm’s flagship developments, the new Graduate Centre being delivered on behalf of Queen Mary University of London, on their Mile End Road campus.

Shahla’s interest in engineering was sparked during a Year 9 “Meet the Professionals” careers event at school, run by us where she had the opportunity to take part in a construction engineering workshop.  She enjoyed the tasks she was set enormously and her keen eye for precision and design was noted by Bouygues UK, which was taking part in the workshop.

Owing to the school’s working relationship with Bouygues, for the past few years they have managed to secure a work experience placement for a Year 10 student – this time the lucky student was Shahla.

Shahla says of her work experience:  “The team was very friendly and I immediately felt comfortable working with them – and it’s such an interesting and impressive project.  I was shown around the site office and given a set of tasks to complete each day.  These included quite a lot of detailed work with the site plans, such as mapping the various routes people could take around the building, completing costings for fixtures and fittings, and colour coding positions for various types of furniture.  I also got to do some research into the architect firm as well.”

Supervising Shahla during her work placement was Guive Kia, Internal Trades Manager for Bouygues UK, who highlights in the importance of providing meaningful work experience:  “I’m delighted with Shahla’s progress; she is a very bright girl who grasps things quickly and she has shown great enthusiasm and commitment.  It takes time, preparation and supervision to host work experience placements but it’s something we support wholeheartedly as a business.  It’s really important as through this we are inspiring the next generation of engineers, particularly young women who may otherwise have not considered a career in the construction industry.  As a company we are committed to supporting diversity and part of that is engaging with young women like Shahla – we desperately need more of them in our industry and I hope one day to be offering her a job!”

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