Daily Mirror - - JOBS -

AYO Sokale knew from a young age that she wanted to help save the world.

Now aged 26, Ayo, from Read­ing, Berks, works for the En­vi­ron­ment Agency as a civil en­gi­neer pro­ject man­ager – mak­ing sure the na­tion’s wa­ter is safe and plen­ti­ful.

How do you go about such a crit­i­cal job?

At the mo­ment I am a bit of a fish saviour in Ox­ford and an eel saviour in Maiden­head, keep­ing th­ese unattrac­tive but cru­cial crea­tures safe in a weir that hasn’t been work­ing.

I’ve also spent time on TEAM 2100, our 10-year pro­gramme to re­fur­bish and re­place tidal flood de­fences in Lon­don and the Thames es­tu­ary.

Some days I’m in the of­fice, writ­ing an ap­praisal pa­per, pro­cure­ment strat­egy or do­ing de­tailed de­signs. The next, I could be on site, speak­ing with con­trac­tors and plan­ning how to ac­tu­ally build what I have de­signed.

It can be ei­ther hard hat and high viz or busi­ness suit.

When did your green en­gi­neer­ing pas­sion start?

On a trip to Nige­ria as a lit­tle girl I saw first-hand how en­gi­neer­ing has an as­ton­ish­ing im­pact on peo­ple’s lives.

From that mo­ment on, I was de­ter­mined to be an en­gi­neer so that I could shape the world around me.

Are you a tad ob­sessed with it?

Yes. So far, I’ve back­packed through In­dia, Thai­land, Viet­nam, Cam­bo­dia, Laos, and vis­ited many more coun­tries, which fu­els my pas­sion for what I am do­ing.

I hope to see as much of the world as pos­si­ble and learn about all the dif­fer­ent cul­tures and what is needed where.

Is the job all you hoped it would be?

The joy of see­ing a pro­ject I have helped de­sign ac­tu­ally be­ing built is un­matched.

Why should peo­ple be­come civil en­gi­neers?

I think a ca­reer in civil en­gi­neer­ing has some­thing for most peo­ple. The industry cre­ates so­lu­tions to prob­lems facing hu­man­ity, so it needs a di­verse range of peo­ple with dif­fer­ent ways of think­ing and ex­pe­ri­ences to help come up with th­ese an­swers.

There are lots of dif­fer­ent roles – con­nect­ing com­mu­ni­ties through bridges, de­sign­ing and build­ing high­ways, pro­vid­ing clean wa­ter or de­vel­op­ing the com­fort­able build­ings we in­habit.

How did you make your ca­reer dream come true?

I was so lucky hav­ing some re­ally in­spi­ra­tional teach­ers who helped set me on my way, and I got stuck into my school’s de­sign and tech­nol­ogy club.

I got a civil en­gi­neer­ing de­gree at Ply­mouth and lucked out when, as pres­i­dent of the Civil En­gi­neer­ing So­ci­ety, I met two En­vi­ron­ment Agency grad­u­ates who talked to me about a ca­reer there.

I later suc­cess­fully ap­plied for a grad­u­ate role and have been here ever since.

To­day, I get into as many schools as pos­si­ble to talk about the op­por­tu­ni­ties out there.

If I can in­spire just one more en­gi­neer, then I have achieved some­thing great.


We have found 12,278 green jobs. At fish4jobs.co.uk, there are 1,007, in­clud­ing a me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer for a firm in Grange­mouth that has a plas­tic re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity (com­pet­i­tive salary) and an en­vi­ron­men­tal of­fi­cer in Charn­wood (£29,636-£31,371).

Key em­ploy­ers in the green sec­tor are the wa­ter, gas, power and nu­clear in­dus­tries. Many list their va­can­cies at gov.uk/ job­search where we found 10,445 jobs, in­clud­ing 1,277 smart me­ter en­gi­neers and 4,731 en­ergy ad­vis­ers and man­agers.

At green­jobs.co.uk, there are 511 jobs rang­ing from a spill re­sponse op­er­a­tor in Glas­gow (£18,700) to a power sys­tems plan­ning en­gi­neer in Sur­rey (ne­go­tiable).

Mean­while, en­vi­ron­men­tjob. co.uk has 177 jobs, in­clud­ing a wa­ter­way op­er­a­tive in Manch­ester (£17,781), a de­vel­op­ment plan­ning ad­viser in Aberys­t­wyth (£25,076) and a com­mu­nity en­gage­ment of­fi­cer in Brad­ford (£25,000).

Sus­tain­able re­cruit­ment ex­perts allen-york.com has 65 jobs and green­job­son­line.co.uk has 73 va­can­cies.

PAS­SION­ATE Ayo wants to help save the world

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