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Van Elle launches new vocational route into the piling industry, through the Piling Apprenticeship trailblazer


Van Elle launches new vocational route into the piling industry, through the Piling Apprenticeship trailblazer.

Van Elle are proud to announce that they have been successful in being enlisted on the RoATP (Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers). This enables Van Elle to deliver Apprenticeship training through Government funding, known as the Apprenticeship Levy scheme.

On Monday 5th August 2019, we will be inducting ten new Van Elle apprentices on the Piling Attendant apprenticeship.


We will be actively looking to recruit new apprentices in the coming weeks to start future programmes in partnership with Sheffield College. After this period we will be working with fellow employers to identify appropriate future talent and on board them through our apprenticeship training programme.


Back in April 2017, working with the Federation of Piling Specialists (the industry body for geotechnical contractors) and in conjunction with other key sector employers, we set about the process of developing a piling specific apprenticeship programme. There was an acknowledgement across the sector that a sector specific gateway was needed to pipeline engineering talent to futureproof the skills and competences required to support labour market demands. Working with key employer contacts discussions started and a formal group was established to take this forward.

A trailblazer was established and has been developing the apprenticeship standard and framework for delivery, including agreed qualification and learning outcomes. In June 2018, the Trailblazer was launched and a new Apprenticeship standard was created ready for training providers and employers to work together to deliver a commercially robust training programme.

As a key member of the Trailblazer team, and with wider investment in our Training & Assessment Centre (over £1million in new facilities), Van Elle have been successfully approved through their RoATP submission to deliver the new piling attendant standard as a main training provider. We are one of the few training providers, who are members of the FPS, who can holistically deliver the Piling Apprenticeship. We already invest heavily in nurturing future talent through the business, with twelve apprentices currently on programme undertaking qualifications at Level 2 through to Level 6 in areas such as Civil Engineering and Business Admin, and we are just about to enrol a new employee on a Digital Marketing Level 2 qualification. Mark Buxton, Training Centre Manager stated:

"It's been a long and detailed process to gain the approval and provide details on our delivery framework and methodology for training and supporting the employer and employees. However with being one of the UK's leading geotechnical contractors we could pull on our experience to package a programme that fits with the needs and operations of a Piling contractor."


Once they have completed the programme they can look into Level 3 qualifications in specialist piling operations, looking at roles such as Mud Plant Operative, Tremie Operative or Charge Hand. We are looking forward to developing future talent within Van Elle, as well as supporting the wider geotechnical sector with their workforce sustainability. Tracey Darby, HR Manager for Van Elle said:

"We are committed at Van Elle to nurturing talent through our business as it is a vital part of futureproofing the skills, competencies, procedures and processes that we have invested heavily in cultivating over the last 35 years. It is important we pipeline talent that are well versed in the culture and brand of Van Elle, which Apprenticeships provide the right vehicle to do so. We are looking forward to working with this new cohort within Piling after the success we've had with incumbent apprentices in Business Admin, Engineering and Mechanical."

Our achievement in becoming a main provider for apprenticeship training solidifies our intention to deliver an expansive, dedicated and tailored learning and development offer to the geotechnical industry and wider construction market. With our exceptional on-site facilities and experienced training team we can offer industry accredited training for operatives, managers and back-office support, as well as bespoke workforce development solutions for businesses delivering piling operations.

Interested? Want to know more?

If you want to know more about our Piling Apprenticeship programme, or wider training services we can offer please contact:

Mark Buxton, Training Centre Manager, mark.buxton@van-elle.co.uk or telephone: 01773 304060.