LEAD programme information for prospective applicants and their parents 

A higher apprenticeship at Hanson UK offers the first steps towards a rewarding and varied career in the minerals sector, as well as the chance to secure valuable qualifications.

Choosing a career in the minerals sector

Our economy is, quite literally, underpinned by minerals.

The Mineral Products Association estimates that the sector is worth over £9 billion in the UK, employing over 30,000 people in providing the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, stone, lime, mortar, and silica sand used in construction.  

In fact, the construction industry, which contributes nearly 10% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), is totally reliant on mineral products for the materials it uses.  And with infrastructure spending expected to grow significantly in the coming years due to investment in roads, energy schemes and housing, demand for mineral products is set to rise.

This makes it an ideal time to forge a career at Hanson UK.  We are part of HeidelbergCement, one of the world’s major building materials manufacturers and are known for our commitment to sustainability, health and safety and training.We employ over 3,500 people in the UK and offer competitive salary and benefit packages. Our successful apprenticeship programme has been running since 2012 and we are now looking for applicants for our 2017 intake.

LEAD apprenticeship programme details

Our Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) higher apprenticeship programme is designed to nurture the managers our business needs for the future.

LEAD has proved to be an ideal launching pad for those who wish to develop a long-term career in the mineral sector. We now have former LEAD programme participants employed across the business in a diverse range of roles from cement process engineer, to kiln production engineer to assistant quarry manager.

LEAD QUALIFICATIONS: The key focus is a distance-learning Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Minerals Extractive Technology from the University of Derby.

Fully funded by Hanson, the Foundation Degree programme includes NVQ level 4 competence qualification in Safety Health and Environmental Management.

On successful completion of the Foundation Degree, many of our apprentices go on to a further two years of study to secure a BSc (Hons) Degree in Minerals Management, also at Derby University and supported by the company. LEAD trainees are based at operational sites. They follow a detailed onsite training programme alongside the University of Derby study programme.

Application Criteria

We are looking for enthusiastic post-18 applicants who are keen to learn.   

The minimum requirements to join our LEAD apprenticeship programme are:

  • 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including Maths, Science and English,
  • 2 A Levels at, or predicted at, grade C or above
  • A full driving licence (NB. This is a prerequisite for joining the programme, but those expected to secure a driving licence ahead of joining can still apply.)
Meeting the LEAD challenge

Combining work and study is ideal for those who enjoy being part of a supportive team and are self-motivated when it comes to their own development.

Our LEAD trainee supervisors complete a minimum of six hours studying per week within work time. However, to get the best out of the experience, our LEAD trainee supervisors are also expected to study a further six hours in their own time.

Our LEAD trainee supervisors also need to be clear communicators and open to new experiences as they will complete secondments around a number of sites gaining experience across our business. A flexible and can-do attitude will also help them adapt to the different roles they will get to try out during the programme.  

Progression on the LEAD programme is subject to satisfactory performance during years one and two. You must be willing to relocate and may be asked to transfer to another Hanson UK location at any time during your training. Relocation after year three will be required.

The rewards

Working while you learn is a fast-track way of gaining experience and qualifications without accumulating the debt now associated with traditional university courses. Plus, on completion, you have a ready-made career with a leading company, on which you are already a few rungs up the ladder.   

During the three-year programme our LEAD trainee supervisors are offered:

  • A starting salary of £17,576 (£20,280 London weighting)
  • Annual salary review on successful completion of  each year’s programme
  • 27 days paid holiday plus bank holidays
  • Pension contributions   
  • Benefits portal providing retail discounts  

Our working week is 40 hours. Apprentices will, on occasion, be required to fit in with the shift patterns operated at some of our sites.

Mentoring and support

Providing support and feedback to our LEAD trainee supervisors is fundamental to ensuring they realise their full potential.  

Our LEAD trainee supervisors are fully supported by both a manager and a mentor throughout the three-year programme.  Monthly reviews are held with the manager to assess progress and apprentices will meet with their mentor at least quarterly for inspiration and support.

The apprentices also have regular contact with their LEAD colleagues at training days and at University of Derby sessions as well as via social media contact groups.  

How to apply

Applications can be made by those who have already finished their A levels, as well as by those who are taking the exams this summer (using predicted grades to support an application).

The key dates in our application programme are:

  • 13th February – applications for our 2017 Lead apprenticeship opens
  • Application deadline was 11pm Sunday, 26th March
  • w/c 24th April – Assessment centres for shortlisted applicants. These will be held  at various locations
  • Early May – Offers made to successful applicants (subject to A level performance if appropriate)
  • 18th September –  Programme starts

Applications are now closed but you can registeryour interest for the 2018 programme via our website.

If you have any questions about the LEAD trainee supervisor programme or the application process, please register your interest here and we will contact you.

Sources of more information:

Hear from LEAD trainee supervisors

First year - Fiona Bradshaw
Fiona Bradshaw.

The LEAD programme is very varied and no two days at the quarry are the same. I have really enjoyed the mix of experiences gained so far which has included time spent learning how to use quarry plant as well as stints in the site office. Read more

Second year - Emily Burridge
Emily Burridge.

In year two you take on much more responsibility, developing detailed knowledge of the department in which you have been placed. In my case, I am developing technical knowledge of concrete, with the help of lecturers at Derby University as well as my Hanson manager and mentor. Read more

Third year - Reece Phillips
Reece Phillips.

In year 3 I have taken on more and more responsibility, not just at the site at which I am based, but across the region. Every day continues to be different and this, I feel, has helped me to develop very quickly. Read more

Third year - Krishnan Patel
Krishnan Patel.

This year has primarily been about using the knowledge gained during years one and two and applying it across the managerial and operational tasks I am now involved in. Acting safely, effectively and efficiently has become second nature. Read more

Graduate - Ben Strickland
Ben Strickland.

I get a real buzz from seeing the difference I can make to the business; your ideas are listened to and acted on, and you get to see the important contribution you can make. Read more