Scottish Construction Now – DBA Graduate Schemes

Youngsters sign up to Dougall Baillie’s ‘earn-as-you-learn’ graduate schemes

Engineering consultancy Dougall Baillie Associates has taken steps to boost its talent pool with the introduction of graduate apprenticeships which create sought-after “earn-as-you-learn” opportunities.

The East Kilbride-based firm is currently putting two young people through a civil and environmental engineering degree while they also work at DBA.

It is the latest part of its company-wide training initiatives, the latest of which is membership of the UK’s 5% Club which promotes the creation of meaningful careers for at least 5% of a member firm’s staff.

Following in the footsteps of many of DBA’s engineers, Stuart McDermott and Ross Cameron are currently midway through the civil & environmental engineering degree at Glasgow Caledonian University after having completed the HNC course at Glasgow Kelvin College. Their education has been undertaken on a day-release basis while progressing their career at DBA.

Stuart and Ross have been joined at GCU by two recent recruits who are following a new Graduate Apprenticeship initiative. The first of the latest recruits to DBA’s stable is Megan McGaw, 18, from East Kilbride, who is undertaking her degree course at Glasgow Caledonian University, specialising in structural engineering.

She said: “I came into the DBA offices to do a week’s work experience and I enjoyed it so much that I stayed. It was pointed out to me that I could do four years at university and then come back, or spend that four years gaining experience with the firm and earning a very good salary. I can go to university one day a week to gain my degree.”

She is joined on her degree course by Kieran Duffy, 20, from Wishaw, who joined DBA from school and is now in the finals of the Apprentice of the Year category at this year’s Lanarkshire Business Awards.

He said: “I began in a Modern Apprenticeship and gained my initial qualifications in civil engineering at Glasgow Kelvin College. I am now studying for my degree at Glasgow Caledonian and hope to build a worthwhile career as an engineer. DBA have supported me all the way.”

The company propose to sign-up a further two technicians to the Graduate Apprenticeship programme this year.

Scott MacPhail, director of DBA, who himself joined the firm as a graduate engineer, said: “It is very satisfying to be able to give these talented and dedicated young people the opportunity to work themselves up the ladder.

“There is a case to be made that people who come through the ‘earn-as-you-learn’ route gain a greater understanding of day-to-day practical issues and also of the firm’s ethos, than those who come into the profession straight from university.”

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