Build March Issue

Build Magazine 56 Case Study - Higher Education Apprentice Sam Hancock is 19 years old and joined Aggregate Industries in 2014 on a Higher Apprenticeship, combining practical work experience with higher education. Once he gains his Certificate of Higher Education, Sam will have the option to continue into an honours degree in Mineral Products Technology. Sam talks to Build about what he thinks about the apprenticeship route: Why did you choose an apprenticeship? I chose an apprenticeship because it is a great way to earn a living whilst learning at the same time. I was always unsure about what I wanted to do when I left school so university was not an option at the time, not to mention the huge debt you get yourself in. Now I am earning a wage whilst studying part time at university, without the debt. It’s a win-win situation. What made you choose this apprenticeship? This particular apprenticeship appealed to me because of the nature of work involved. I don’t mind working outside, I like to get stuck in with the manual work as well as some office work. The wage is good for an apprentice, above the national average. Another reason why I chose this apprenticeship was because of the chance to gain a degree. Speaking to people who have done this course in the past, it can lead to a variety of job roles within the business and isn’t limited to where you can go. How did you find out about the apprenticeship? I found this apprenticeship on the . uk website where most big companies advertise the roles they have. From there you apply for the job you are looking for. For me I went through an apprentice recruiter, Impact Apprenticeships, who work on behalf of Aggregate Industries to find suitable apprentices. After a telephone interview and formal interview with Impact Apprenticeships, I had an interview with Aggregate Industries. From there they offered me the job the next day. What roles have you been doing since you started your apprenticeship? I started off in the main offices at Bardon Hill working within the Contracting team; mainly with the estimators. I was then placed on site at the A453 where I was reviewing and sorting technical data to do with the coring of the road. I was then placed in the laboratories at Bardon Hill quarry, where I was testing and grading different sized aggregates that had come straight from the quarry. From there to present day I have been working within a team, laying asphalt. Mainly in Stoke where a big contract had just been won. Is there any mentoring or coaching involved? I have regular chats and progress meetings with my line manager and HR. We discuss how I am getting on and what I have been up to and whether I am enjoying what I am doing. We will then plan and discussed what job roles I would be doing in the future, for example where I will be going next. What have you enjoyed the most about it? I have enjoyed doing different job roles and being placed around different sites during my first year with the company. I have been busy within a lot of departments, learning a lot about the business as a whole and the amount of work the company actually does. Tell us about the course you are on? Three years are mandatory for the completion of a certificate of higher education. Then there are 2 optional extra years to gain a full honours degree in Mineral Products Technology. I currently study at Derby University. On top of the university work I am also completing a Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Health, Safety and Environmental Management in the Extractive and mineral processing industries.