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TWI and Skills Training UK develop a new generation of NDT professionals

TWI and Skills Training UK have been offering training and experience to develop the next generation of NDT professionals through apprenticeships.

Three new apprentices based in Middlesbrough have revealed what it is like to take an NDT apprenticeship.

While apprentices Jamie Frew and Daniel Connor both found out about the apprenticeship through a government apprenticeship website, Matthew Black was informed of the apprenticeship by his employer.

One of the reasons for choosing to take an apprenticeship was to gain hands-on experience that was directly relevant to getting a job.

Good job security and prospects are offered by an NDT apprenticeship

Matthew Black

Open to anyone aged 16-65

The NDT apprenticeship scheme is helping to reduce the skills gap in UK engineering, while improving the job prospects of those who enrol.

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NDT apprenticeship

With a combination of study and on-the-job experience, an NDT apprenticeship offers eLearning and blended learning options leading to CSWIP, PCN or an employer-specific certification.

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When it came to choosing NDT in particular, Jamie explained that he felt it is a "growing industry" with "lots of opportunities" to expand his knowledge. Matthew pointed to NDT as an "ever-growing industry," while Daniel explained that it was his family who directed him towards NDT as a "good career choice."

All three apprentices completed a visual welding inspection course ahead of their apprenticeships, which provided a good foundation of knowledge about welding basics both for their NDT course and their on-site work.

The apprentices would all recommend an apprenticeship to their friends

Daniel noted that the course had taught him "the main techniques of NDT" that he will "hopefully use in the future." Matthew noted that learning about various NDT methods provided a "broad understanding" of the topic, while Jamie detailed how he had learnt about "four different methods of NDT and knowledge of different defects and where they’re likely to be found."

With all of the apprentices now looking to attend more NDT training in the future, it seems that the on-the-job training and classroom-based study has provided them with relevant skills for a career in the real world, including theoretical, practical and behavioural skills.

Win-win situation

An apprenticeship, whether in NDT or another subject, provides a win-win situation for employers and trainees alike. While employers can get assistance with funding they also gain staff who have gained directly relevant training to do a specific role, while the trainees get a qualification alongside genuine workplace skills and experience.