British Drilling Association Apprenticeship visits Soil Engineering

We were delighted to play host this week to the British Drilling Association Apprenticeship 2021 cohort for their modules on Geology and Drilling Applications.

The 12-strong apprentice group, with representatives from Soil Engineering, Arcadis, WJUK, Sirius and Alun Griffiths spent the week at our Leeds facilities led by the BDA’s Charlie Allardyce. The first half of their week was supported by Imperial College and First Steps’ Dr Michael De Freitas, and focussed on understanding the geology the apprentices will encounter in their careers in the UK. A tour of the Geotechnical Laboratory allowed the group to better understand what their carefully collected samples are used for after the leave site. Laboratory manager Kevin Walker gave the group the opportunity to work together preparing and testing a trial sample on the triaxial rig, providing a great insight into the life cycle of a sample.

British Drilling Association Apprenticeship
The Apprentices working together to complete a Triaxial test under the close supervision of Michael De Freitas and Kevin Walker

The latter part of the visit concentrated on the use of drilling rigs and equipment, and allowed the apprentices to share their own experiences and knowledge to support each other. With Josh Green (Cable Percussion) and Paul Moore (Rotary) given the chance to explain the techniques they work with regularly to their course-mates, it allowed a very personal learning opportunity for everyone. The tour of our plant facilities and equipment stores was accompanied by presentations by our Warren Reade and Simon Baxter, supporting the core course content.

British Drilling Association Apprenticeship
Soil Engineering’s Simon Baxter discussing permeability testing with BDA Apprentices
British Drilling Association Apprenticeship
Soil Engineering’s BDA Apprentice Paul Moore talks through rotary drilling methods with his course-mates
British Drilling Association Apprenticeship
Soil Engineering’s Josh Green explains the setup process for Cable Percussive rigs to his fellow Apprentices.

Land Drilling NVQ’s Sophie Haberfield, responsible for coordinating the sessions, commented “A big thanks to Soil Engineering for facilitating this week both the laboratory tour and the yard tour were fantastic and added great value for the apprentices to be able to visually see what they are learning about in the classroom”.

We look forward to both welcoming back the apprentices in the future, and also seeing how they develop their careers going forward. The British Drilling Association Apprenticeship programme has been a formative process for a significant number of our drillers, and has supported significant career progression.

1:00 AM Jan 1st

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