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    ground investigation

    the future of upskilling in Ground Investigation

    Fri 02/02/2024 - 10:27

    The number of active apprenticeship schemes is on the increase and we ask ourselves what an apprenticeship scheme is, what are the benefits are of pursuing an apprenticeship and how do they fit into the ground investigation industry.

    Apprenticeship schemes are an investment in an individual providing them with relevant training and skills, which in turn promotes a greater sense of appreciation and career satisfaction. An apprenticeship is an excellent way to step forward in your career pathway, combining on-the-job learning with assessment and a skills development programme, enabling staff to learn while they earn.

    No individual is the same, so why should learning be any different. The different types of apprenticeship schemes available combines a variety of learning styles to achieve a single outcome, including a mix of on-the-job workplace training and formal off-the-job training which is assessed. A huge benefit of this is that the formal learning can be put into practice in a real work environment.

    Within the Ground Investigation division at SOCOTEC UK we have 15 members of our team actively pursuing apprenticeship schemes from Level 3 (equivalent to 5 GCSEs A*-C) to Level 7 (Master’s degree), with a further 5 delegates starting various apprenticeships over the next few months. Topics include:

    • Level 3 Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Technician
    • Level 3 Civil Engineering
    • Level 5 and 7 Leadership and Management
    • Level 6 Project Management
    • Level 7 Geotechnical Engineering

    Here’s what some of our apprentices have to say about their experience so far…

    Melody Wareing, GI TechTeam Leader is halfway through a 3 year Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Birmingham.

    “The new Geotechnical Engineering degree apprenticeship opens up a new avenue for learning in conjunction with employers to develop staff. The structured approach manages the periodic University attendance alongside full time working in practical sections. Currently in my second year of the degree apprenticeship, over 20 years after completing my BSc shows it is never too late to learn something new. The mix of industry early careers through to old hands on the course shows there is a place for everyone. A colleague is also currently completing his first year and we are planning for who might join the next opportunity in September 2024.”


    Brian Nottage, Operations Manager is over halfway through a Level 5 Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management.

    “Since starting on the Level 5 Apprenticeship I have gained a wealth of experience in Team Leadership & Management, which was especially helpful when taking on a second SOCOTEC office in my new role as Operations Manager for the South & Southeast Region.

    Whilst the training can be challenging, it is also enjoyable to learn new skills alongside fellow SOCOTEC employees from across the business. I would definitely recommend taking advantage of the Apprenticeship Scheme, and I look forward to the remainder of my training.”

    Nathan Finnan, Senior Field Technician is 3 months into a 26 month Level 3 apprenticeship in Civil Engineering.

    “I started my apprenticeship in October 2023, which will last for 26 months. I am doing a B tech Level 3 in civil engineering. I have been in this industry for 18 years this year, mainly as a window sample driller, but want to progress through to Project Management. The opportunity to start an apprenticeship to help me progress my career with SOCOTEC was one that I grabbed with both hands. I am thankful to SOCOTEC for giving me the opportunity to better myself as a person and as an employee. My intention is to become a leading name within the company in future years in a role I hope to prosper.”