DGL Testing | Employer Case Study


DGL Testing provides testing services of construction materials. They employ a Materials Technician apprentice called Kieran. We spoke to David Lloyd – company director – David is in charge of everything within the company since it was set up in 2006, when there were only 2 members of staff. We asked him some questions about his experience hiring an apprentice. Here is what he said:

How does your apprentice fit into your team?


Kieran is a very valuable technician, as much as any other employee in the business. Having technicians trained to NVQ level is invaluable, as the business is already working towards all employees having completed an NVQ anyway. David is hoping it is not long before Kieran is ready for offsite learning, at which point David would also like to increase his wage.


Why did you decide to take on an apprentice? 


David thought an apprenticeship sounded great due to the structured training. He also liked the idea of himself learning how to deliver structured training as he was replying on his own judgement previously.


What do you believe taking on an apprentice did for your company?


DGL are hoping to keep Kieran as an employee and hopes that when the business does expand Kieran can work his way up through the business, which the structured learning of an apprenticeship has provided direction to do. Also, up until now the business has had to carry out their training themselves and really benefits from the support from Iain (Kieran’s tutor).


Kieran has not been in the business very long but he has recently been pushing samples so David is already seeing the value in the investment.


Did you have any reservations before going ahead with it?


David thought he might struggle with finding the time for 20% off the job training but hasn’t yet. It is managed well but if he forgets then Kieran or Iain remind him and it hasn’t caused any issues to himself or the running of the business.


What ingredients do you think the perfect apprenticeship programme needs to be successful? 


Kieran really benefits from the level of support from the tutor. It is too early to give much advice from the experience of DGL’s current apprentice, but he did say that it depends on the apprentice chosen and that he has been very lucky with Kieran.


What advice would you give to other leaders and managers thinking about taking on an apprentice or who have similar (growth/capacity/talent challenges)? 


Do not offer the lowest possible wage, as the apprentice won’t take the job seriously, which he has learnt from others and has been there himself.


What are DGL’s plans for the future?


David explained that the company is still looking to grow and develop in the near future. He hopes for a large growth with more employees. DGL currently operate only in the South but had been contacted by a company in Liverpool who paid for their accommodation as they specifically wanted DGL to carry out their testing, purely from word of mouth/reputation. Expanding across the country is a possibility depending how the business growth goes, and they may look into having another site elsewhere when the workforce increases, which will depend on demand.