New civil engineering career for Chris thanks to Staffordshire council scheme

Staffordshire’s Chris Boote

Submitted by Staffordshire County Council

Chris Boote, 39, from Staffordshire, is the latest person to benefit from Staffordshire County Council’s Open-Door scheme, after gaining employment as a technical support officer with the local authority.

After working for 15 years in the resource field, Chris decided he needed a career change and had the idea that he might want to try his hand at civil engineering. It was following a chance conversation with a senior road engineer from the county council who explained to him what the work consisted of and told him about the Open-Door program that he put his plan in place.

After contacting the program team, Chris began an initial 12-week placement, growing to 24 weeks with the council’s sustainability team. Soon after, and armed with six months of experience and knowledge, Chris was able to secure full-time employment when a position opened up in the department.

Speaking about his experience, Chris said: “I had known for a few years that I wanted to change my career and had started to take steps in that direction. The only thing was that I had no experience in the field I was interested in, but that’s where Open-Door came in.

“The course was great. It was very well organized and I was able to learn more about the many aspects of civil engineering. I gained valuable knowledge of the different stages of the highway planning and construction process.

“I have spent time on the site of new roads and bridges and time in the labs to understand how the different approaches work. I have also spent time with other council departments including the flood risk team, to understand the impact of different construction projects on the environment.

“I would absolutely recommend the program to others. As a mature worker embarking on a new career, it can be difficult to gain experience in a new field, but if you are ready and have the courage to make this change, the Open-Door program really offers an opportunity to gain experience or see if this career is really for you. I really enjoy my work and want to thank everyone involved .

Philip White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economics and Skills at Staffordshire County Council, said: ‘This is another great example of how our Open-Door scheme can help people gain life skills. work experience to help them change careers or find work.

“Helping upskill people remains a priority for the county council and means they will be in a better position to take advantage of the most skilled jobs in the future. Open Door is an important part of this process and I wish Chris well in his new career.”

The program offers candidates voluntary and tailor-made work experience, in a wide variety of professional roles depending on the career they seek. It is accessible to anyone over the age of 18 and aims to help people who encounter difficulties and obstacles in finding work. This could include people with disabilities, people with mental health issues, ex-offenders, children leaving care, dropouts and graduates.

For more information on the Open-Door Staffordshire scheme contact 01785 854486 or email: [email protected]

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