6th May 2022

Congratulations to Karl Drayton, a Site Supervisor, who recently completed his Piling Attendant apprenticeship, gaining a Level 2 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Piling Operations.

Karl was one of the first cohort of Piling Apprentices at Van Elle and is the first to successfully pass, with a merit grade.

As part of the Piling Attendant apprenticeship, Karl has been embedded within a piling rig gang, observing and supporting key activities such as working as a slinger/signaller and rig attendant.

Karl has demonstrated that age isn’t a limiting factor when undertaking an apprenticeship.

At 28, Karl had several jobs including working abroad in Saudi Arabia, where he installed fittings for commercial premises, before joining Van Elle as an operative in the summer of 2018.

He then enrolled on the apprentice programme, which has offered him a clear career path with long term prospects.

Karl has been undertaking the apprenticeship for the past two years, with a mix of college and onsite learning.

Studying for his qualification at our dedicated Construction Training Centre, which was enlisted to the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers in 2019, and is the only provider of the Piling Attendant apprenticeship standard in the country.

The Training Centre partnered with Sheffield College to provide the hands-on training for the piling elements of the scheme.

Karl is currently working for our Housing division, where he has been recently promoted to Site Supervisor and is responsible for assisting in the operations and installation of precast foundations.

He now hopes to guide and support new apprentices through the business.

When asked about his apprenticeship, Karl said: “I’ve really enjoyed being part of the first cohort at Van Elle to take on the Piling apprenticeship.

“My colleagues have been hugely supportive throughout, and I’ve had the opportunity to work all over the country on a variety of projects, gaining meaningful exposure to a variety of piling techniques and solutions.

“I’ve always been very hands-on rather than academic, but the apprenticeship has really helped me to develop, enabling me to learn the theory whilst putting it into practice on the job, continuously building skills along the way and gaining qualifications – passing my 360-excavator training was defiantly a highlight!”.

For more on this success story, visit Van Elle Construction Training.

Our search for apprentices continues, so if you want to follow in Karl’s footsteps, visit our careers page for details of current opportunities.