A distinction above the rest: Apprentice Max achieves highest score in assessors’ history

February 11, 2021

Celebrating an incredible achievement on National Apprenticeship Week

This week (8-14 February) is National Apprenticeship Week, and what better way to mark the occasion than by celebrating the success of Structural Soils (an RSK company) apprentice, Max Battle. Max not only recently completed his apprenticeship at the Structural Soils laboratory in Hemel Hempstead, UK, with a Distinction, but he was awarded the highest ever Vocational Competence Discussion (VCD) score in the history of the assessing organisation, Marshall Assessments!

This incredible achievement means that Max has scored the highest VCD out of hundreds of apprentices across the UK. “This is great testament to both Max’s ability as a technician, his maturity as a person, and the support he has received from the team at work,” commented a representative from the apprenticeship training provider Youthforce.

Structural Soils Managing Director Stephen Mackereth said: “What a fantastic accolade. Max has put a huge amount of work and dedication into his apprenticeship. We thank him for taking this so seriously and for engaging with the process so fully. I wish him all the very best and trust that we can offer him a sound, stable and rewarding career path going forward.

“Thank you also to all the team in the Hemel Hempstead laboratory who supported Max through his training. It is great to know we have such committed people in the business and to see again that the apprenticeship scheme has been a success for the individual, the employing company and the facilitators of the scheme.”

RSK caught up with Max to find out more about his experience as an apprentice.

Name of apprenticeship

Edexcel Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Laboratory and Associated Technical Activities

Why did you choose to do the apprenticeship?

The idea of working in a laboratory, with individuals who can share and demonstrate their expertise and pass on their scientific knowledge, was what really appealed to me. This apprenticeship has allowed me to step into the scientific field and gain knowledge and experience that I would never have got otherwise.

What have you learnt/achieved by doing the qualification?

I have learnt how to work safely in a laboratory and how to comply with regulations that are relevant to the business. In addition, I have gained the knowledge and practice of how to perform laboratory tasks using the appropriate scientific techniques, procedures, and methods. I have learnt the importance of UKAS audits and how to help the laboratory maintain this accreditation. During the last two years, I have been shown and then trained on how to run a variety of testing on soils and rock to BS1377, EN ISO 17892 and the ISRM standards.

If other people are thinking about doing an apprenticeship qualification, do you have any advice for them? Are there any things you found challenging? And what helped to keep you on track?

We have all faced difficulties in the last year due to COVID-19; at one stage I did not think I would be able to complete the apprenticeship as a result. Thankfully, with the use of Microsoft Teams and Zoom, I was given the opportunity to continue learning, and to demonstrate what I have learnt so that I could eventually have my end point assessment where I would be assessed to determine if I have passed the course.

Having a dedicated team around me in the laboratory that both encouraged and supported me throughout my apprenticeship really helped me to gain a Distinction. I felt comfortable knowing that I had my mentor, managers and all the technicians in the laboratory to go to for advice and support if I needed them.

Knowing that I was passionate about working in a laboratory and wanting to continually help others and become involved with scientists, engineers and laboratory technicians has kept me focused throughout my time in the laboratory. My advice for those thinking about doing an apprenticeship is to make sure you have a good network around you that can support you when needed. Not everyone is able to say that they work with the best, but I can!

Thank you to everyone that has helped me!

Max has now been offered a laboratory technician position at Structural Soils and is looking forward to progressing his career further, perhaps even becoming a principal technician one day.

Congratulations, Max!

You can find our full list of current apprentice opportunities here.

👏 Grace Kassimoto is the only acoustic specialist from and working in East Africa.

💚 In our latest #ADayInTheLife, she discusses how she is leading the way for women in a traditionally male-dominated industry and what she enjoys most about her role.

Read her story in our bio!

#Acoustics #Environment #WomenInStem #Engineering #Leadership #Africa

📢 We are proud to sponsor the #GreenEnergyAwards 2022, an event organized by Scottish Renewables

🏆 This ceremony aims to recognise the inspirational organisations, people and projects going above and beyond to make a real difference to the health, wealth, and wellbeing of Scotland

We can't wait to see you there!

📅 1st December 2022
📍 Edinburgh

#RenewableEnergy #Renewables #Scotland #Energy #GreenEnergy #Awards

📸 #selfiesonsite 🤳

Tom Peart, Principal Surveyor at @centara_ltd, out on-site in Rotherham.

Want to join our team? View our latest opportunities 👉 www.rskgroup.com/careers

#RSKgroup #behindthescenes #meettheteam #RSKfamily #RSKonsite #culture #construction

🐟 Concern was recently raised in France with regards to the health of marine ecosystems.

📌Join RSK France's webinar, in collaboration with law firm Franklin and TechWorks Marine, to discuss the sustainable support of renewable energy in the marine environment.

Register now in our bio!

#RenewableEnergy #Environment #Marine #Nature #Compliance #Energy #GreenEnergy

📢 November is a month dedicated to men’s health.

🌍 On November 19th, we celebrated #InternationalMensDay, a global holiday that highlights the positive value men bring to the world.

🤝 This year, men around RSK are taking part in #Movember, an initiative that involves growing a moustache during November to raise awareness of men’s health issues.

💚 We want to thank Greg Cole, James May, Jiano Pulickal, Matthew Bayliff, Maxwell Robinson, Sam Oakley, Tom Llewellyn, Tom Semmens and Yusuf Aoulad-Ali for participating in this great initiative!

#Wellbeing #MensHealth #MentalHealth #WorkCulture #Culture

😮 “The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Building with Nature can help clients understand how they can utilise best-practice green infrastructure solutions to deliver developments that are better for both people and nature.”

👏 In the November edition of our #employeespotlight, we spoke with Joanne Mayneord, Senior Landscape Architect at @stephensonhalliday, who has recently been certified by Building with Nature as an Approved Assessor.

Read more in our bio!

#Environment #Nature #Sustainability #Landscape #Planning #Environmental