Photo of Mott MacDonald advanced apprentice Matthew Bateson

Matthew Bateson, Civil Engineering Advanced Level Apprentice
// Mott MacDonald

“If I hadn’t taken DEC, I’d probably still be at college trying to decide what I wanted to do with myself!”

Matthew from St Ambrose Barlow RC High School in Swinton, Manchester, had a tough choice to make.

His older brother Daniel had already successfully completed the Design, Engineer Construct! Learning Programme (DEC) , and was on a digital engineering career trajectory with Laing O’Rourke.

Matthew wondered whether he should gain hands-on knowledge and experience in the construction industry, or forge a different path in an ICT-focused programme?

Ultimately, the unique learning opportunities presented by DEC persuaded him. Matt left school at 16 years old after attaining excellent GCSE results, including an A* in DEC.

His advanced apprenticeship in Civil Engineering with Mott MacDonald started with the team responsible for transport networks, light rail, tram and infrastructure projects.

DEC: A whole world of opportunity

After recreating real-world buildings in Minecraft in his youth, Matthew enjoyed expressing his creativity and engineering skills through his DEC project at school, using industry-standard 3D modelling software.

He was able to collaborate with other students, exploring sustainable design techniques and presenting his ideas to industry professionals who regularly visited the classroom.

One of his school highlights was presenting his offsite manufactured student accommodation project to a Vietnamese delegation at the University of Salford, as part of a UK Government Prosperity Fund visit.

Working with his best friend and fellow successful DEC student, Johan, their joint project was received with great admiration. Delegates from industry and academia were amazed at the standard of knowledge of the 16-year-olds.

Matthew tells us:

“If I hadn’t taken DEC, I’d probably still be at college trying to decide what I wanted to do with myself!

Instead, I’m now working with a hugely respected employer and have some great opportunities ahead of me.

I’m very excited to pursue my civil engineering career at Mott MacDonald.”

What Matt’s teacher says

“Matthew was an exceptional student, who excelled in school across all subjects. He was inspired by his brother to continue DEC at GCSE, despite wanting to tread his own path.

He was always diligent, hard-working, mature and talented and even at the age of 16, was absolutely ready to excel in the world of work.”

Daniel McDonagh, DEC Teacher

What Matt’s parents say

“Our sons, Daniel and Matthew, thoroughly enjoyed studying Design Engineer Construct! at high school.

This has provided fantastic opportunities for them, including presenting at various events with Class Of Your Own.

They are both now undertaking Advanced/Degree Apprenticeships in Civil Engineering and have great and rewarding careers ahead of them.”

Stephen and Julie Bateson

What Matt’s Line Manager says

“Employing Matt, as a Level 3 apprentice, seems to be a win for everybody.

Matt is able to continue with his education, to obtain formal qualifications, whilst gaining experience of real-world engineering challenges through project work.

Mott MacDonald gains a valued member of the team, who brings different skill sets and views of the built environment that we’re working to shape.

It’s a fantastic way to be able to develop the profession and support a young person in shaping a career.”

Andy Barnes, Line Manager
Mott MacDonald

What Matt’s Employer says

“We recognise the value of the Design Engineer Construct! (DEC) Learning Programme and corresponding qualifications, and have actively supported creator and founder Alison Watson and her Class Of Your Own team for many years.

Mott MacDonald was the first official adopter of a DEC school in 2012, and have since adopted schools across the UK. We are now working with Class Of Your Own to expand our reach internationally.

We believe DEC offers strong routes to technical and professional occupations in architecture, engineering, digital technology and construction and have recruited apprentices directly from DEC schools.

Their involvement in DEC has provided a valuable foundation to their start in the company.”

Julie Dakin, Metro & Civil Regional Director
Mott MacDonald

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