My journey as Transport Planner: Joe Matthew

I joined Curtins in September 2016 as an Apprentice Technician in the Manchester Transport Planning team. From my very first day at the office, my colleagues helped me feel welcome and were very patient familiarising me with my job role within the team.

My first few weeks were spent getting to know the people in my team and learning the basics. I was assigned a mentor who trained me on important software such as AutoCAD and helped me understand how to approach various tasks. After a couple of weeks, I was beginning to work on a number of exciting projects across Manchester and the North West, under the guidance of my team.

Three years later, my mentor is still always on hand to help me if I have any questions – a great bonus!

As part of my apprenticeship, I was placed on the Trailblazer Transport Planning Course at Leeds College of Building, to work towards my BTEC Level 3 in Transport Planning. It was a great experience meeting other apprentices from across the UK on an exciting and unique course, which also included field trips Germany and The Netherlands. Plus, while I was in Leeds, Curtins covered all my accommodation and travel expenses!

To achieve NVQ Level 3 on the apprenticeship you have to produce a work-based portfolio. Fortunately, the wide variety of tasks and projects I had worked on in my first two years at Curtins meant most of my portfolio was already complete ahead of time.

Coming to the end of my apprenticeship, I  completed my End- Point Assessment with CIHT (Chartered Institute of Highway Technicians). This involved preparing a report and presentation to demonstrate my understanding of Transport Planning in several key areas. My colleagues had worked on similar projects to the one specified and provided extremely valuable advice into what I should include in my report and presentation.

Completing my BTEC, NVQ and End-Point Assessment has given me a great understanding of Transport Planning and a valuable skillset to take forward into the future.

Now, as a qualified Transport Planning Technician, I continue to work on a range of exciting projects with personal highlights including Circle Square and Salford City Football Stadium.

I’m beginning to deal with key architects, designers and other stakeholders outside of Curtins more frequently and independently, and also represent Curtins publicly at Business Development events and was invited to attend the Building Awards in London this year. My confidence has grown exponentially since I started, and that’s down to the help from my team.

With a number of nationally significant projects taking place across the country, and new technology revolutionising the way we travel – there has never been a more exciting time to be a Transport Planner.

I look forward to many more years at this company.