Long read

National Apprenticeship Week 2023: shining a spotlight on skills

warehouse environment


10 Feb 2022


Jade Gower

As we wrap up National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), which runs from 6 to 12 February 2023, let’s celebrate the achievements of apprentices and highlight the positive impact they make to communities, industries and the wider economy.

As the world’s largest integrator of geotechnical, survey, subsea and geosciences services, we offer talented individuals almost unlimited growth potential.

Apprentices are vital to a skilled future workforce and those that join Fugro will work on challenging and complex projects on a global scale, learning from experienced team members who play a vital role in every project’s success. Additionally, they will have access to ongoing training and development which will sharpen their skills and broaden their knowledge and abilities.

This combination of on-the-job learning and ongoing training and development, allow our apprentices to develop their career and explore new opportunities with Fugro around the globe.

Most recently, we’ve joined the Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group focused on developing an apprenticeship route for remote and autonomous maritime operations both above and below the surface. But our opportunities don’t stop there. We offer a range of services across our land and marine businesses, allowing apprentices to hone their skills regardless of career level and experience.

To mark NAW 2023, we hear from two apprentices about the path they took, what they’ve learned, and any advice they have for others.

Fugro World images for Fugro.com

Matthew Buchan on site at an offshore project

Name: Matthew Buchan
Age: 24
Location: Falmouth
Job title: Electrical Supervisor

I took a slightly different route into working at Fugro. I decided against attending university and was working as a site labourer when I came across the job opening for an apprenticeship role at Fugro. Opportunities to carry out an apprenticeship whilst travelling to assist in site operations were rare in Cornwall. This, alongside the ability to take part in numerous training opportunities, appealed to me. It was the perfect opportunity to become an asset to the company whilst progressing in my field.

Once I was taken on, I had a close 1-1 mentor I was shadowing, alongside two days a week studying at college. The highlight of my time on the scheme was assisting in the delivery of large projects, including three VBM™ installations and multiple nearshore and offshore marine mobilisations. On numerous occasions we were working to tight deadlines, so ensuring the delivery of the projects on time was a great achievement for all of us.

After completing my apprenticeship in March 2022, I ended up taking on my supervisor’s role as they moved to another position within the business. I now lead a team of 6 engineers, supporting site operations and ensuring the work that’s being done is of a high standard. I’m also involved in training the next cohort of apprentices helping those coming up after me to take up these opportunities.

Advice for anyone applying for an apprenticeship:

“I think those who are applying would be surprised sometimes who we end up selecting. At Fugro, there are a number of criteria we look at – we recently offered an opportunity to the candidate who had the least experience on paper, but we could tell they had the right initiative and the kind of mindset that would work really well within the team. If you can find opportunities to show where you can become an asset to your team, and add value, you’ll be successful.”

Fugro World images for Fugro.com

Dara Isles at her first Fugro event in Aberdeen

Name: Dara Isles
Age: 25
Location: Aberdeen
Job title: Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Graduated: Dara graduated in summer 2020

I studied public relations at university and graduated right at the height of the Covid pandemic, which meant opportunities were few and far between. I decided to stay in my retail job while I looked for other opportunities, and it was then I came across the apprenticeship scheme at Fugro.

With it being six months long, I was initially a little cautious but I decided to take the plunge as I really couldn’t see myself staying in my current job for much longer and I was keen to make a move into something where I could see myself building a career.

I’m proud to say it paid off. I’m now a valuable member of the regional marketing team, and work to develop key content for our technology and innovative solutions.

I’ve been given a massive amount of support from Fugro to help improve my confidence which has been fantastic, finding myself in new situations and projects where I’m learning a huge amount. The main highlight during the apprenticeship was being given the responsibility to help run a client event in Aberdeen, while having only been at the company for six weeks. The response and feedback was extremely positive, and it gave me a major boost to my confidence in the role.

Advice for anyone applying for an apprenticeship:

"Don’t settle for the first opportunity that you come across after studying. It can be a very stressful time after you graduate trying to land a role and feeling like you need to be immediately doing something relevant to your degree. But the reality is keeping your options open, biding your time as I did, and being patient can pay off. That opportunity that might be slightly out of your comfort zone may turn out to be the best decision in the long run.”

If you would like to join Team Fugro and participate in future apprenticeship schemes visit Fugro Careers.

Did you know?

The National Apprenticeship Service website states:

  • 96% of employers that take on an apprentice report benefits to their businesses

  • 72% of businesses report improved productivity as a result of employing an apprentice

About the author

Jade Gower is UK Communications and Marketing Manager at Fugro

Site investigation (CPT and drilling) and monitoring
Performing CPT, drilling and monitoring of the Grimburgwal canal in Amsterdam

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