Case study

Studying while working is the perfect blend for mineral products apprentice Sarah

In her third year of her Mineral Products Technician Higher Apprenticeship with Aggregate Industries, Sarah Howarth reflects on her experience so far, including why she felt an apprenticeship was the best option for her.

Why this apprenticeship?

Sarah studied A-levels in Geology, Geography and Environmental Science at college and knew she wanted to pursue a career in the geology field afterwards. She explains:

"At college, I was encouraged to apply to university using the UCAS system and my lecturer told me that higher apprenticeships in the geology field didn’t exist. Perseverance showed this not to be true!

"I liked the idea of earning while learning and getting hands-on industry experience as part of my qualification. I found out about the apprenticeship vacancy with Aggregate Industries through the National Apprenticeship Database."

Mineral products apprentice Sarah Howarth standing on Caterpillar machinery

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mineral Products Technician Higher Apprenticeship so far. Being site based at Westleigh Quarry has helped develop my learning by working alongside specialists in the industry.

Sarah Howarth
Apprentice with Aggregate Industries

My experience so far

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the apprenticeship so far. Being site based at Westleigh Quarry has helped develop my learning by working alongside specialists in the industry.

"The apprenticeship I chose was heavily assignment based, supported by in-person and online lectures as well as study material released by the University. At the start of my apprenticeship I spent a lot of time shadowing managers, blasting experts and the maintenance team. Further on in my apprenticeship, I was given more responsibilities on-site as well as managing my own projects. As I moved into the third year, I was given responsibility for the transportation logistics of a large quarry."

Career benefits

"Not only having a foundation degree*, but a growing practical experience in the quarrying industry, means that I feel I am likely to be ahead of my peers.

"Aggregate Industries has developed and supported my career trajectory by putting me through various courses such as the Ignite Future Leadership Programme and Women in Construction, both of which I wouldn’t have received if I had gone on to a traditional degree. Being in my third year of a foundation degree, I am looking to progress on for a further two years to complete my bachelors degree."

*Please note that this apprenticeship now offers a University Diploma qualification, rather than a Foundation Degree.

A group of students in orange high vis in a quarry

The Mineral Products Technician Higher Apprenticeship

Find out more about this apprenticeship, including what it entails and the type of roles it prepares you for.

View the Mineral Products Technician Higher ApprenticeshipView the Mineral Products Technician Higher Apprenticeship