A few years ago Hills Quarry Products started a campaign to recruit apprentice joining forces with other quarrying companies and the national Mineral Products Association to highlight employment and career opportunities available within industry. This evolved into the creation of the Mineral Processing Mobile and Static Plant Operator apprenticeship standard.
Hills Quarry Products now has an ongoing campaign to recruit apprentices and regularly visits local schools and colleges to promote the apprenticeship programme and the importance of quarrying.
Hear more about this from Aidan Jeffreys who was the first apprentice to complete this apprenticeship.
My apprenticeship allowed me to earn money and learn at the same time
Before my apprenticeship, I was in full time education at a secondary school and working on a farm in my spare time to earn money. I didn’t enjoy studying in a classroom all the time and I was looking to learn practically and hands-on.
I attended an open day at a local Further Education College where I was attracted by the Hills Quarry Products exhibition stand and the apprenticeship they were offering. I knew I wanted to work outdoors and Hills’ apprenticeship allowed me to earn money and learn at the same time.
My learning has been supported throughout my apprenticeship
My apprenticeship programme covered a wide range of information including how all the equipment on a quarry site works, plant maintenance, health and safety, mineral processing and much more. I think the part of my job that I enjoy most is driving the mobile heavy plant and the responsibility that I am given to operate such large vehicles.
My learning has been supported throughout my apprenticeship by the help and mentorship of my colleagues at the quarry. When it came to my end-point assessment I felt like I had learnt as much as I could do and found the end-point assessment fairly easy.
I was so pleased when I found out that I had passed my apprenticeship.
I would definitely recommend others to do an apprenticeship without hesitation. I think for those who prefer practical based learning they would benefit from exploring the option of doing an apprenticeship and being able to earn while you earn is definitely a bonus!
Now that I have completed my apprenticeship, I am a mobile and static plant operator responsible for operating fixed and mobile heavy plant equipment efficiently on-site. I work as part of a team which operates the extraction and processing of aggregates at Hills’ Shorncote Quarry.
Peter Andrew, Group director of Hills Quarry Products, said:
“We are delighted that Aidan has completed his apprenticeship so successfully, he has settled in extremely well and coped well with the pressures of learning whilst training. Due to the success of Aidan’s apprenticeship, we want to increase the number of apprentices we employ, aiming for at least one per year, and we therefore hope Aidan is the first of many apprentices to join the company.”