Firstco has an outstanding track record of attracting, developing and retaining staff. We provide all our staff with appropriate training and mentoring to enable them to acquire the skills and competencies they need and to facilitate their own professional development.
Many of our staff joined us straight from university or college and have benefitted from early exposure to a hands-on engineering experience from day one. Many have also completed their professional registration as either Chartered or Incorporated Engineers with the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET) of which Firstco is a partner.
Equality of access to training and our commitment to lifelong learning are seen as fundamental principles to becoming the employer of choice in our marketplace.
Vacancy: Graduate Engineer
As a growing business, we’re always on the lookout for motivated and enthusiastic engineering graduates who’ve studied a relevant STEM based degree subject such as:
If you’re successful in joining our team, you’ll have the opportunity to work on several world class projects in the London area, where you’ll be fully trained and immersed into the industry from day one.
No specific experience is necessary, however to succeed in this role you’ll need to be confident in dealing with a wide range of people; from clients to other team members. You’ll also need to possess good written and verbal communication skills, be able to work effectively in a team environment and (with the appropriate technical training and support), be able to confidently work alone.
Firstco encourages and supports both professional and personal development, and puts a strong emphasis on training within the company. Many of our graduate recruits have gone on to become Chartered or Incorporated members of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET), of which Firstco is a partner organisation.
To apply, please email your CV to: email@example.com
Professional Pathway Students
Firstco are proud supporters of The Professional Pathway Scheme (PP).
The scheme is an innovative mode of study. It allows London based university students to transfer to relevant four-day-a-week employment after a period of study and complete their degree by a combination of day-release and e-learning. PP students do the same course content as full-time students, but over a longer period.
Candidates with a Bachelors or Masters Degree or with appropriate training and certification in electrical, electronic or mechanical engineering are highly sought after. Relevant systems project experience will also be considered, as well as evidence of industrial training in programming and management of SCADA/PLC systems.
Project Controls Engineer
What we look for:
A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or relevant technical training to design and engineer systems projects. Candidates should have delivered PLC/SCADA projects in at least one of following sectors, rail, airport, port, oil & gas, process industry, other utility or commercial construction (BMS), ideally within SIL determined environments. Candidates should also have exceptional cost and document control skills, as well as good progress management experience.
Work Experience & Interns
Firstco offers a range of work-experience and internship placement opportunities for school, college and university students.
To find out more, please contact David Bligh on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vacancy: PLC Programmer (Project Engineer)
We’re currently recruiting for a PLC Programmer (Project Engineer). Ideally you will have the following experience:
Design and Engineer systems’ related projects
On-site implementation of systems’ projects
Program PLCs, mainly either Siemens or Rockwell products
Produce high-quality detailed documentation
Work within ISO Quality Assurance/Management system and within regulated environments, ie rail
Identify & provide detailed risk assessments and communicate effectively to project manager, colleagues and Clients
To apply, please email your CV to: email@example.com
Meet Sadiqa - Professional Pathway Student
What University and course do you attend?
I attend City University, London, where I’m in my third year studying for a BSc in Business Computing Systems (Programme: Computer Science).
What is the arrangement between you, the University and Firstco?
I spend four days a week at Firstco and one day at University to attend my lectures and seminars. This scheme is known as the Professional Pathway and it is an innovative mode of study. We do the same course content as full-time students, but over a longer period (one extra year). The role was advertised by the Professional Liaison Unit (PLU) team at City University and I secured the job myself. Firstco pay me an annual salary and they have offered me a job at the end of my degree, which is great!
When did you join Firstco and what is your role?
I joined Firstco in August 2015 and work as First Line IT Support
My work includes:
Day to day IT related tasks (updating the dashboard, documents, timesheets for prospective and current projects, asset register)
Maintainer of the VDE – patching, checking if everything’s up to date, deal with issues, and also create VM’s and maintain them
I do purchase orders liaising with external suppliers
I do other IT related tasks. For example, I recently completed a Cyber Essentials Assessment, which we passed!
I deliver the compulsory IT induction to all new starters
I’m responsible for the installation and deployment of workstations, laptops and other IT equipment, including network and phone cabling and patching
Troubleshooting and administration of hardware and software
What key projects have you worked on and how proud are you of your achievements?
As part of my degree, I had to complete a work-based project and I chose to do a prototype (Phase 1) Competency Management System for Firstco; I was responsible for everything from the requirements stage all the way to design and delivery. I am proud of what I created and also enjoyed the challenges I faced while doing the project. It was great that Firstco reviewed the work I produced and wanted to use parts of what I created incorporating my ideas to develop the system.
What opportunities and training support are available at Firstco?
It’s possible to work in the area you’re interested in, whether it is technical or on the business side. Training is available where suitable. For example, I am the maintainer of Firstco’s Virtual Development Environment (VDE) and I attended a five-day course of VMWare
I wanted to brush up on my Excel skills so a two-day training course was arranged for me.
What do you find appealing about becoming an engineer?
I like problem solving, working with other people, being creative and seeing the impact that changes can make on individuals.
I have studied IT systems since lower school, and have always had a great interest in the way things work and how they are built. I have done some programming, using Java and C++ and I enjoy seeing the end product.
What kind of engineering are you particularly interested in?
I am very interested in Networking and I will be going on to do my CCNA (ICND1 + ICND2) training in December to gain more knowledge and experience.
What do you like most about working at Firstco?
I have gained invaluable work experience at the same time as attaining my degree. My work is related to my degree specialism. For example, IT Management, UML, C++.
I like the fact that I learn new skills every day and that work is varied.
There are many opportunities for growth and I am encouraged to do my best at work and academically.
How important is the location of Firstco to you?
The office is located in walking distance from both the Central line and Hammersmith and City line so it makes the commute to and from work easy!
What kind of social activities can you participate in at Firstco?
The staff are very friendly and welcoming. There are lots of social activities including golf, shows, film festivals, the summer picnic and Christmas party!
What do you like doing in your free time?
Hanging out with my friends and family, retail therapy, girly stuff!
Meet Andy - Project Manager
Andy is a Project Manager here at Firstco. He works on key projects, such as Cooling the Tube and NATS, the UKs leading provider of air traffic control systems
Why did you become an engineer?
I grew up on a farm in Monmouthshire South Wales. My Dad was an engineer and he used to repair a lot of machinery so I virtually grew up in his workshop.
At school, I was good at Maths, Physics and those kinds of subjects. I was always going to work with technology in a hands-on role and I gravitated towards computer systems. I love to develop and build things, which is a neat way of explaining what engineering is.
What’s your engineering background?
I’ve been in this industry for about ten years now. I did a Systems Engineering degree at Warwick University (2001-2005) where the course had a real-world focus.
While I was a student I worked part-time for a company in industrial automation, which is how I got into this sector. As a graduate a lot of my work was in factory automation and process industries such as the steel works in South Wales. Before Firstco, I worked for one company: Control Systems Services, Newport, and Tata Steel was one of our biggest customers.
When did you join Firstco?
I joined Firstco in June 2013.
The first project I worked on was Potable Pumps at Heathrow where we upgraded the water distribution system around the airport.
Cooling the Tube
One of my major projects is Cooling the Tube with London Underground. I’m the Programme Manager and work with an innovative team focusing specifically on keeping the heat down, constantly looking at new ways of cooling everything.
I get a lot of job satisfaction from jobs that have societal benefits. The Cooling the Tube project has a very tangible impact so I have a sense of pride.
Network Rail has an internal Research and Development team looking at innovations they can make on the railway. Cable theft is a major issue so we are exploring how they can work without cables, looking at wireless communications. It’s cutting edge work so there is a lot of job satisfaction
NATS the UK’s leading provider of air traffic control services
I’m Project Manager on a major new project with NATS, reviewing and upgrading the electrical management system that powers the air traffic control equipment at their Portsmouth centre. I’m currently putting the team together and the project will run for about a year.
Highlights at Firstco
At Firstco, we’ve set up our research Technical Innovation Group which includes half a dozen staff who look at better ways of doing things. For example, how do we turn emerging technology into opportunities for us? This research group gives me another creative outlet.
I also mentor a few of the junior members of the team and enjoy seeing them achieve their full potential.
What do you most like about working for Firstco?
Most companies claim to be people focused but Firstco really deliver on that.
We recruit very well, employing people with a similar ethos. We look after people and there’s a lot of focus on training and development. Since joining, I’ve got an accreditation in Project Management and have also become a Chartered Engineer.
How has Firstco changed since you joined in June 2013?
Firstco has grown in size with a lot more staff and larger higher status projects. Our industry works on reputation and track record and Firstco is going from strength to strength.
Paddington is very convenient for staff and clients. A lot of our work is on our doorstep: London Underground and Heathrow. This means you can meet clients easily.
The company looks after us very well by organizing a varied amount of social events. The nature of our work means staff split off into teams on projects so the social events mean we get to know each other. They include annual events such as a summer picnic and Xmas party plus everything from sport and film to theatre.
Meet Matt - Graduate Engineer
Matt is one of our Firstco Graduate Engineers. He joined the company in April 2015 and works on the Northern Line Extension project
Why did you want to be an engineer?
It’s mainly my Dad’s fault. He’s always been into cars and worked for salvage companies, so I grew up with the idea of fixing and building things. I think it was ingrained in me from an early age.
I went to Bath University and studied Electrical and Electronic Engineer (2010-2013). Courses ranged from control systems to space technology.
When did you join First Co?
I joined in April 2015 as a graduate engineer.
I started work on the Northern Line Extension project, which was in its early stages and had only been going for a few months. The Nine Elms and Battersea area is all being renovated so they wanted two new tube stops: Battersea Power station and Nine Elms.
What is your role?
It’s a big project so there are a lot of us in the team and a variety of work involved.
I started off doing document control, learning the process. Over time, I’ve taken on more responsibilities. First, I became a system lead for the clock systems. More recently, I’ve been working on CCTV modeling with one other engineer.
Has it been a challenging project?
It’s very project driven and interesting learning each phase, attending meetings with a lot of people. I like working to deadlines and when we finished a deadline recently I had a good sense of achievement.
The graduate experience
It’s definitely been an eye opener working as a graduate at Firstco. I’m glad I chose Firstco as I’ve been able to get involved in a project from the very beginning. If I had joined a bigger company I wouldn’t have had so much hands-on experience at the start. At Firstco there are at least half a dozen graduate engineers. Most of them are at Heathrow Express (HEX).
Most graduates have a mentor. I have a mentor who works on my project who has been here for five years. We meet regularly when I’m given advice on my engineering career and training courses.
Has Firstco changed much since you joined?
Firstco has grown. There are plenty of varied projects so there is lots of opportunity to do different things.
The main office in Cellbridge Mews, near Paddington, is very convenient for the majority of people. I live in North West London (where I’m from) so it’s very handy for me and takes just ten minutes to walk from Paddington station.
Best things about Firstco
Everyone is very helpful and really friendly. I settled down easily and it feels like I’ve been here for longer than a year!
I love the relaxed atmosphere and flexibility of the company. Staff can work the hours they want so it’s not a nine to five culture.
It’s a very friendly atmosphere, we have a social committee which I’m part of. We have a budget and plan a variety of events. We’ve played golf, done white water rafting at weekends and we did an ‘Escape Room’ event the other week when people were locked in a room and had to work together to get out; we did it for social purposes, but it is great for team building!
The good thing about the events is if you don’t see people on site or in the main office you can see them socially.
What do you do in your free time?
I like to relax, go out with friends, watch films, travel as much as possible. I also enjoy DIY, art, music and play piano.
We’re always interested in talking to people from relevant backgrounds, and even if we’re not currently recruiting – we’d love to keep your CV on file until we are.
For more information on opportunities within Firstco, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our LinkedIn page for current vacancies.