Apprentice Jack takes the highway to engineering career on A14



Twenty-two year-old Jack Brittain is well on his way to becoming an engineer thanks to an apprenticeship opportunity on the biggest road project currently in construction.

Jack, who is just finishing an apprenticeship on the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme, is fast building his career working within the A14 Integrated Delivery team to help deliver Highways England’s £1.5bn project.

Jack said: “I applied for an Apprentice Engineer role during my A-Levels. After I completed them, I started an NVQ Level 2 apprenticeship on a road project in North Yorkshire, where I was part of the structures team delivering several bridges.

“I am currently studying for a NVQ Level 3 in Construction Contracting Operations on the A14 project, where I am part of a structures team again. My team is responsible for the construction of a number of structures including two of the schemes new bridges – there are 34 bridge and structures in total on the scheme!

“I am about to complete this NVQ and will carry on working for Balfour Beatty afterwards, hoping to gain a Higher National Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment so I can then progress to University.

 “I would urge anyone in my position to see what Highways England and its contractors have to offer – the possibilities are endless!”

Highways England, the government company that manages England’s motorways and major trunk roads, is responsible for some of the country’s biggest construction projects.

Over the next few months Highways England will take on up to 75 apprentices to work at its offices across the country, with places made available through its website. Apprenticeship opportunities are also available via the company’s contractors on roads projects in the East region.

Today, during National Apprenticeship Week, Highways England urged people interested in building a road network for the future to sign up for alerts.

San Johal, Highways England Human Resources Director said: “This is a great time to join our team. We are investing in the next generation, and our apprenticeships are open to all and are a real alternative to traditional routes like university.

“With the UK needing an extra 20,000 engineering graduates a year, Highways England is taking part in the Year of Engineering. This national campaign is all about showing young people what an engineer is, and what they can achieve.

“For Highways England we need a continuing pipeline of young engineers to help deliver the massive investment planned for our motorways and major A-roads, benefitting the economy and improving people's lives.”

Highways England’s apprenticeship scheme supports the government goals to create 30,000 apprenticeships in road and rail by 2020.

New recruits will be helping to play a part in modernising England’s strategic road network by developing and delivering technically advanced projects. These include schemes such as the A303 Stonehenge improvements and The Lower Thames Crossing.

The company currently offers apprenticeships in business administration, IT, electrical engineering and civil engineering and Human Resources. It is planning to extend the list to include accounts, quantity surveying, transport planning and project management.

Highways England also continues to develop strong relationships with schools and colleges as part of a wider ‘early talent’ recruitment plan, to encourage children to continue the study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, helping to inspire the engineers and construction professionals of tomorrow.

To find out more, and sign up for e-mail alerts or apply for an apprenticeship visit Highways England’s careers homepage:

Schools and parents are also encouraged to log into The Big Assembly today (Thursday 8 March), to join the thousands of people being online at the same time gaining career advice. For further details please following

Since the start of construction on the A14 upgrade, more than 150 opportunities have been created for young people with an interest in road construction to gain skills, including 42 apprenticeships. Through the lifetime of the project, it is planned that around 75 apprentices and 35 graduates will be recruited.

For the latest information about the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme, including job and training opportunities, contact the team at, visit, follow @A14C2H on Twitter and like our Facebook page at

 Images: Jack Brittain, one of the apprentice engineers working on the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon upgrade

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