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Careers spotlight: A future in Civil Engineering

11 October 2023

In a world powered by innovation and technology, the role of engineers has never been more crucial. A Humber company, Spencer Group, has a number of apprentices and graduates in a variety of roles, all crucial in forming the workforce of the future.

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Here, we are taking a look at Oliver Walkington, a trainee Quantity Surveyor and Harry Towle, a Design Engineer to find out more about their journey so far with the Spencer Group and their career in civil engineering.

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Oliver: Spencer Group is a Civil Engineering Company, located on Hull Marina with various site locations across the UK. Spencer Group specialises in large engineering projects ranging from the design and build of green power stations, working across the UK rail network and building and maintaining complex suspension bridges.

Spencer Group is a main contractor who undertakes projects of various sizes and complexities. We are a UK leader in engineering with a vision for creating a greater future and our projects help connect society, build communities, and grow the future prosperity of Great Britain.

I am a trainee Quantity Surveyor working within the Commercial Bridges team at Spencer Group. My responsibilities include:

  • Cost management
  • Subcontractor Valuations
  • Material Procurement
  • Subcontractor Procurement
  • Contract Administration

Harry - I currently hold a position as a Design Engineer within the Mechanical Design Team at Spencer Group - a design and build company that operates in multiple industries including rail, bridges, materials handling and Nuclear. The design team is multidisciplinary with expertise in civil, structural, mechanical, building services and electrical.


Oliver - I am from Bridlington and after finishing my GCSEs, I decided to go to Ron Dearing UTC in Hull to do my A-Levels and to further my career prospects. In 2020, I joined Spencer Group as a Commercial Apprentice, and I am currently in my 3rd year of a 5-year degree apprenticeship in Quantity Surveying.

Harry - The Humber region has always been my home, as I was brought up here, attended school and studied at university locally. The combination of familiar surroundings, strong community ties, and the opportunity to study an affiliated degree at the University of Hull, made the Humber region the perfect place to embark on my academic and professional journey.

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Oliver - I joined Spencer Group as a Degree Apprentice in Commercial. I decided to go down the pathway of a degree apprenticeship as this was the fastest route for me to enter the engineering industry while earning a qualification alongside working.

Since starting as a Commercial Apprentice in September 2020, I have been promoted to a Trainee Quantity Surveyor within the company and completed 3 years of my 5-year university course. During my time at the Spencer Group, I have been involved in various exciting projects with the support of a range of colleagues, all of which have provided me with invaluable experiences for me to draw from in the future. From September, I will become an Assistant QS.

Harry - I applied for the graduate scheme at Spencer Group through recommendations from the University of Hull. I established a professional connection with staff at the company and after a successful interview, I joined as a graduate in 2017.

Spencer Group has provided me with opportunities that have challenged me in a supportive way. I’m thankful for the business providing me with a platform to develop through funding an MSc in Advanced Engineering. They are also supporting me in my next career step to become a Chartered Mechanical Engineer.


Oliver - My favourite part of the job is being able to independently manage the commercial elements of a project which have impacts on the way the work is undertaken. I am then able to see the implications of these decisions when I attend the site, knowing that I have assisted in the completion of the project.

Harry - One of the favourite parts of my job is having the opportunity to work on challenging projects that call upon technical and innovative solutions. I also enjoy working in a multidisciplinary environment that utilises the latest technologies to develop designs from concept to detailed design.

Furthermore, I have relished the opportunity to work on projects up and down the country but also locally. Specifically, I have enjoyed carrying out temporary works design on the Humber Bridge as it is a major local landmark I’ve grown up around. Finally, one of the best parts of my job is visiting a project site to see something you have designed being brought to life,


Oliver - Look at the options for an apprenticeship pathway into your chosen industry as opposed to going into higher education full-time. If you can undertake a degree apprenticeship in this field then it will allow you to gain real experience alongside obtaining a valuable qualification at the same time.

Harry - It's important to complete work experience across any engineering disciplines that are of interest. This will give a flavour of the tasks that are involved in a typical engineering project. I’d also recommend researching University courses to see if their content is appealing. It is also worth noting if the course is affiliated by a professional body, this will be important if a chartership with the engineering council is a goal.

Finally, I’d also recommend speaking to employers about what development opportunities they can offer. Employers may offer the opportunity to study for a degree part-time. This will provide invaluable industry experience whilst learning.  

Oliver walkington of spencer group
Harry towle of spencer group

Thank you to Spencer Group and to Harry and Oliver for their time in telling us all about their journey so far, and for their advice for budding engineers. We wish them every success in their careers and look forward to hearing from them again in the future.

You can learn more about Spencer Group and the apprenticeships and graduate jobs available at

You can learn more about Talent+, the skills and talent development programme provided by Bondholders for Humber based talent of all ages at

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