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Highways design - staff testimonials

Read about what it's like to work in highways design.

Saifaldin, graduate civil engineer

What I like the most about working for Derbyshire County Council is meeting the local people and helping them out, every day is different, you will work with new people on new tasks almost every day.

I feel my job in civil engineering makes an actual difference to people's lives, many of the projects we work on are for the benefit of the public and local communities. The highway improvements are sometimes a disruption whilst they are being undertaken but usually make a difference to the public and local community.

Gaining new skills is what attracted me to my current role as a graduate civil engineer. Whatever part of civil engineering you choose to work in, you'll be gaining and developing a range of invaluable skills and practical abilities in coordination, problem solving, critical thinking and more.

Civil engineering is a creative career and is so varied applying new technology on aging infrastructure an interesting area of work. The vast number of different designs for buildings, bridges and other structures shows how civil engineers have to think outside the box to solve a wide range of challenges.

Civil engineering is a real team effort. The civil engineering industry is built on team spirit and collaboration, so if you are a team player, it is the perfect career for you.

In this job I am able to visit different sites and enjoy working out of office, and I am always looking for new challenges to gain more knowledge and experience.

There are plenty of training courses available for employees and new starters get support and guidance from our team and the experienced senior engineers. I feel I have the opportunity for continued career progression and work in a team of friendly, helpful colleagues.

James, senior technician - highways design and maintenance

I enjoy the variety of tasks that working for Derbyshire County Council's highways team offers. One day I may be working from home creating works packages for resurfacing schemes or modelling 3D designs for junction improvements and the next day assisting surveyors in inspecting landslips or major defects in highways across the county.

The people at Derbyshire County Council are great. There is a great amount of knowledge across the highways team and colleagues are more than happy to share their experiences and assist when required.

I joined Derbyshire 2 years ago from the private industry. I have enjoyed since the many benefits offered by the local authority including flexible working, great holiday entitlement, and the ability to work from home. A slightly shorter 37-hour week also makes a huge difference to work-life balance.

The location of the County Offices in Matlock means accessibility via the road network is ideal for people travelling from close by or further afield and was also a draw for me living locally.

The variety of work is what keeps my role interesting. In particular, I enjoy the planning of projects which includes liaising with various stakeholders such as the construction team, residents, and statutory undertakers to ensure projects go ahead, on time and within budget. On occasion this can be challenging but I enjoy working with people and other professionals to overcome issues.

Derbyshire County Council have been great in aiding the development of both existing and new staff and I feel this is improving with each year. I was able to complete a degree apprenticeship with Derbyshire County Council's support after starting it in my previous role, and their close relationship with the local university means I am currently studying towards a master's degree part time.

I am currently working towards IEng with the Institution of civil engineers which I hope to achieve this year. Derbyshire County Council have been fully supportive with this, and senior staff are mentoring me to achieve this aim.

Within work, I have been given support to develop my skills in a variety of areas associated with highways design, with much focus this year around 3D design, where scheduled lessons have been organised to get developing staff up to speed.

The variety of work, the friendly atmosphere around the council buildings makes me feel valued and included, the support I've been offered to help me progress academically and professionally and the enjoyment I get from working and improving the area where I live all make me want to stay with Derbyshire County Council.

I look forward to the camaraderie and seeing the friendly faces in the office and across Microsoft Teams when working from home.

I look forward to new challenges and meeting new people, which Derbyshire County Council is great for. I also enjoy working on site across a beautiful rural county with great people and great places.

I feel my work-life balance has benefitted the most between my position at Derbyshire County Council and previous roles. In my role, I have a flow of work which requires good planning and organisation to keep on top of, but it is manageable.

I have also enjoyed focusing my work on the area local to where I live, and I enjoy seeing the highway schemes I have been involved in on a regular basis whilst driving through or walking in the Peak District.

Richard, senior technician

The best thing about working for Derbyshire County Council is the variation in the work, previous employers have organised their work into very repetitive tasks which after time become boring.

Being part of the highways design team, at no time do you feel you're doing the same thing day after day. You can do a calculation, a drawing or taking off and producing a Bill of Quantities and producing a set of contract documents. I doubt there is another employer that would give you that range of work.

Obviously working from home was initially a big change to normal office work but I’ve gotten used to it, although I am currently responsible for our team's apprentice so I am making arrangements to be in the office so that I can effectively support, mentor and train them.

I fell the most interesting part of my role is the challenge of being given a task and coming up with a practical solution and the chance to see it being constructed, most roles are either one or the other.

I have been on various training courses throughout my 31 year long career at Derbyshire County Council and I look forward to the ongoing support to get on with my job.