Spotlight on Apprenticeships: Sam, Trainee Asphalt Quality Technician - MGL Group
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Spotlight on Apprenticeships: Sam, Trainee Asphalt Quality Technician

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an apprentice? As part of National Careers Week, we’re offering a glimpse into the diverse apprenticeships available at MGL Group. Meet Sam, our Trainee Asphalt Quality Technician, who has been with the business since September 2022. He works full-time at our Tynedale Roadstone facility in Barton, North Yorkshire and is studying at Derby University.

What is your role, and which apprenticeship are you following?
I am a Trainee Asphalt Quality Technician; my role involves quality control of asphalt materials to ensure they meet the required specifications. As well as working full-time, I am also studying for a Mineral Product Higher Apprenticeship.

What motivated you to pursue an apprenticeship?
I wanted to learn new skills and gain hands-on experience, plus an apprenticeship has the added benefit of earning a wage while pursuing a qualification.

What does a typical day look like?
My typical workday involves daily checks of the raw material stockpiles, testing and reviewing asphalt samples of finished products, looking for trends and fluctuations, and completing university assignments and tasks.

What tools and technologies are commonly used for your work?
I use Gradlab to assess material compliance with industry standards. Essential tools like thermometers, rolling bottles, and sieve shakers help me to undertake routine testing, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in our processes

What skills or knowledge have you gained through your apprenticeship?
I can test and recognise various asphalt materials, identifying anomalies or patterns within mixtures. I’ve also gained insights into the operations of asphalt plants, understanding their functions in producing the final product, and laying techniques.

What opportunities for professional development or training are available?
The company promotes a culture of continuous learning, offering various training and development opportunities. Employees are encouraged to suggest any courses or qualifications they’d like to undertake. I’ve recently completed certifications such as the Construction Skills Certification Scheme and attended Health Advocate and Fire Marshalling sessions.

What makes our company special or unique compared to other workplaces?
I enjoy coming to work and feeling genuinely appreciated and valued. I complete tasks independently, and the team is always available to address any questions or help when needed. This balance has boosted my confidence and enhanced my collaboration and communication skills.

When will you complete your apprenticeship, and what are your future goals?
I’m on track to finish my degree by December 2024. I’m committed to my continued professional development and interested in pursuing an Honours degree at Derby University and broadening my expertise by exploring different roles or areas within the company.

What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a career in the construction industry?
My advice is to embrace every opportunity to learn and gain experience on the job. I think an apprenticeship is the best way to get started as you can learn on the job and gain key skills like communication, teamwork, and health & safety. The construction industry offers a dynamic environment where you can constantly challenge yourself, work on exciting projects, and see tangible results.

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