Lydia’s year group was the first to undertake a full six-week rotation with the HSEQ department as part of their initial in-house training, following introduction of the new module into the Building Student Programme. Its inclusion is designed to ensure all trainees have an in-depth understanding of HSEQ from the outset, and ensure the correct HSEQ standards are embedded in their training.
Lydia, who’s new title is assistant HSEQ advisor, said: “I had no idea how much I’d enjoy working in the department, but it’s so interesting. I love the variety of activities and the combination of site and desk work.
“With HSEQ you’re doing something different every day, whether that’s working with the pre-construction team to identify risks and opportunities for a future project, or going out on site to audit an on-going scheme.
“We have to be up-to-date on latest legislation and guidance, and analyse how that will impact our teams on the ground, it’s such an integral part of any construction project.
“I came into the Building Student programme looking at site management or site engineering but after my rotation with HSEQ I wanted to learn more and asked to change my focus.
“We have a really knowledgeable team, who are also really friendly and helpful, and I feel so lucky to be learning from them.”
The 20-year-old will work alongside head of health and safety Darren Williams, head of environmental and quality Leo Frechou, health and safety manager Richard Barker, and Rachel Essery, HSEQ systems coordinator.
New line manager and mentor Darren is delighted to welcome Lydia to the department. He said: “Introduction of the HSEQ rotation to the Building Student programme supports our aim of embedding good practice from the foundations up, but I never expected it to result in the first of our apprentices choosing to progress their career within this department.
“Lydia is extremely well suited to HSEQ. She is very organised, forward thinking, and analytical, and she has a natural feel for the balanced approach we take towards risk. We’ve already tasked her with presenting updates to senior staff and she’s done very well.”
All of the second year Building Students have now selected their options for the final three years of the five-year training programme.
Isabelle has chosen to continue her degree in Quantity Surveying and to train with the commercial department as an assistant quantity surveyor. While Kieran and Megan have both selected the Construction Management degree and will focus on operational training as assistant package managers.
John Millward, Russell WBHO construction director and champion of the Building Student programme, added: “We have designed the programme to provide a broad introduction to the industry in the first two years, after which they specialise in their chosen commercial or operational field for the balance of the five years.
“After two years of hard work, it is great to see the students remain extremely enthusiastic and motivated. I’m pleased we’ve welcomed Lydia as our first recruit into the HSEQ team, and am delighted to confirm the appointment of Isabelle, Kieran and Megan as assistants within the commercial and operational teams respectively. The future is bright indeed.”
Pictured below: Building Students Kieran, Megan, Isabelle and Lydia.