Mathew Perrin, ssistant Civil Engineer, Volkerfitzpatrick Rail
Where did you go to school? Eastbrook Comprehensive
What path did you take to get to your current positon? I actually started
working as a trainee carpenter but luckily, for me it did not work out͘ I then
found an apprentceship for a rail engineer with Volkerfitzpatrick and three and
a half years later I am on my third apprentceship with Volkerfitzpatrick which now has me atending London Southbank
University for a BEng Hons Civil engineering degree part tme͘
What subjects did you study? I studied constructon and the built environment and resistant materials in year 10&11 at school,
before carpentry and joinery at college͘
How many jobs have you had, and can you name them? I have had 5 jobs, my first being a Christmas temp at Debenhams
before staying on, a 2 month placement with a carpentry firm, football stewarding at Dagenham and Redbridge, then a year at
a carpentry firm where I realised it wasn’t for me before finally startng with VolkerFitzpatrick where I have been ever since͘
What school subjects link to your career? Maths, English, Science, Resistant materials/design technology and constructon͘
typical day in your current role looks like: I will arrive on site before my start tme of 7:30am to ensure I prepare for the day
ahead, preparing any drawings/documents that may be required for the works ahead͘ However, as an engineer every day is
different there may be multple concrete pours one day followed by a day of writng method statements͘
What skills do you use daily that you learnt at school? Maths and plenty of it! lthough designers do most of the hard work,
you will always need a good understanding of maths, for setng out, for procurement of materials, for calculatng areas and
voids͘ English is another key one, having to pass on accurate and clear informaton to designers, sub-contractors and clients it is
important I make no major errors͘
What is the number #1 piece of advice you’ve been given that helped you with your career choice? Find what you love doing,
then get good at it so you never have to quit͘ Which was the advice from my supervisor when I was stll on the carpentry firm it
never really made sense untl I started work as an engineer͘
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 5 years’ tme, I would like to see myself in a sub agent/site agent role, working my
way towards full project management and ideally becoming more hands on with the apprentce schemes in VolkerFitzpatrick͘
What is the average salary for this role? For an assistant engineer anywhere between £20,000-£25,000 depending on locaton,
responsibilites etc͘
If you could have done anything differently on your career journey, what would it be? For me I have been lucky that
something that at the tme seemed so negatve (carpentry not working out) that I fell into engineering and found my love for it͘
So I don’t think I’d change my career journey at all as I learned large amounts from each job I have done in the past͘
Why do you love your job?
I love my job because I have always been passionate about constructon and found a real love for
engineering͘ There is something extremely satsfying about seeing a job from start to finish, knowing you
are directly involved with all the major changes, improvements and constructon͘ I am nearing the end of
my current project and its incredible just to reflect on all the work that went into it͘ I have been very
lucky because I have been able to learn from some of the greatest project teams and engineers
throughout my tme at Volkerfitzpatrick so far, I am constantly being pushed in the right directon and
supported when making big decisions͘ Due to those around me, I have been able to develop at a very
high rate and as mentoned am now undertaking a degree, which seemed unachievable only a few years