Apprentices opportunity

We work closely with local colleges to support our people through their apprenticeship, providing day release so they can study.

Advanced Apprenticeship in Construction

Civil Engineering for Technicians

A BTEC Level 3 Diploma

Construction and the Built Environment

Once complete, our apprentices can progress to a Technician role, gaining experience of a wider range of projects and customers.

Many of our apprentices also choose to further progress their qualifications by studying an HNC/HND, or by working towards a degree level
qualification, with our support.

Find out more about our apprenticeships, by hearing from some of our rising stars:

Apprentice
From Ben

Ben Tong

Apprentice

Describe your career so far:

I started at Chelmsford college studying engineering – a course in which we carried out many different units covering all aspects of the engineering industry. One of these units was CAD and this was where I discovered that I really enjoyed design work. 

After this I decided that I wanted to find an apprenticeship doing design work and made the college aware of this. Ardent then contacted the College and they thought I would be a good fit for the position.

After starting with the company, they found a Transport planning course at Leeds College of Building that seemed to be a good fit for the team I was in and the work I would be doing. I have now completed the college / block release segment of this course and just need to complete a final project to pass the course. This course covered a wide spectrum of transport planning allowing me to gather a much wider knowledge base than I otherwise would have just working.

What makes my job interesting?

The main thing that makes my job interesting is the variety of work that I get to help with. Even though I am in the transport planning team I get to work within many disciplines such as: Drainage, Noise, Air Quality, levels and Infrastructure. I really enjoy this variety as I am always learning and no two days are the same.

Who or what has helped shape my career?

Many people have helped me shape my career. Within my office Dan Valance is my mentor for CAD and has taught me a wide range of skills I wouldn’t otherwise have known such as layout reviews and tracking. Ian Wharton has taught me all about the standards we design to , when they need to be applied and how the planning process works.

Any top tips or advice you would like to pass on?

The main thing I would say is that all experience is good experience and to ask questions to the right people as that’s how you learn.

Apprentice Civil Engineering Technician
From Uche

Uche Nebuwa

Apprentice Civil Engineering Technician

Describe your career so far:

It has been an amazing, exciting journey, and there’s still a long way to go.

What makes my job interesting?

Being able to learn under the top professionals in this industry, also the various challenges thrown at me.

Who or what has helped shape my career?

ARDENT is one of the reasons that have helped me shape my career, helping me collaborate with others as well as being able to be creative and be innovative to deliver the best solutions.

Any top tips or advice you would like to pass on?

Never be afraid to ask questions or think outside the box. Aim for the stars; if you fail, you will land on the moon.

Apprentice Civil Engineering Technician
From Chloe

Chloe Inglis

Apprentice Civil Engineering Technician

Describe your career so far:

I started my apprenticeship with Ardent when I was 16 studying Civil Engineering. 

I have completed the BTEC L3 in civil engineering and currently studying for my HNC, once completed I will be moving on to study for my degree.

Whilst working for Ardent, I have been taught a lot more than I would have learnt in a classroom only, it is all hands on experience which is more interesting and satisfying as you get to see the end results.

I have learnt how to create various drawings using CAD and have developed skills in Civils 3D.

What makes my job interesting?

Every project is different and every drawing has something new on it, I also work for different teams so also learn different teams dynamic, no matter what I’m working on or with there’s always something new I can learn!

Who or what has helped shape my career?

My mentors at Ardent have really helped shape my career and my progress, they are always on hand if I need support but also let me try and figure things out for myself. 

My family has helped shaped my career, I wouldn’t be where I am now without their support and guidance!

Working hard throughout school and getting the grades I needed in my GCSEs has definitely helped shaped my career and allowed doors to open.

Any top tips or advice you would like to pass on?

The advice that has always helped me is to try your best and don’t be scared to ask for help. The more questions you ask, no matter how silly you think they are, the more you will learn.

The best tip I can give is write everything down, you may not think you’ll need it at the time but you definitely will!

Graduates and Entry Level positions

As an employee-owned company, we also pride ourselves on nurturing raw talent keen to join our industry. We offer a range of support
and training to help people to achieve their career aspirations, whether they join us with a degree or in an entry level position.

We’ve helped many of our team to study for a degree or other qualification to enhance their career prospects. And we’re delighted that so many
have been promoted and chosen to stay with us for the long-term to progress their careers.

Find out more about the career paths that some of our people have taken below:

Senior Technician
From Aravinda

Aravinda De Silva

Senior Technician

Describe your career so far:

I have been a “Senior Technician” in Ardent’s Suffolk (Ipswich) regional office for almost two years now. Since joining Ardent in 2014 as a “Technical Assistant” starting with the most basic knowledge of AutoCAD, I have worked my way up to where I am currently. I must mention that I did not have any industry related knowledge prior to joining the company. However, throughout my time in Ardent, I have been offered a great number of professional development opportunities to enhance my skills and knowledge via academic programmes as well as in house training. As a company that offers multi-disciplinary consultancy, the opportunities I have been given have allowed me to assist the wider Ardent team, working with the company’s Noise, Transport and Infrastructure team whilst heightening my Civil Engineering career. I have recently been elected to be a registered Technician Member of The Institute of Acoustics (Tech.I.O.A.) and my next goal is to uplift my abilities / skills and knowledge to Civil Engineer level.

What makes my job interesting?

Amongst the many, the best aspect for me would be problem solving and being able to see a project come to fruition that you have been a part of.

Who or what has helped shape my career?

Definitely, the company’s support to achieve my academic skills in the professional world and the great amount of day to day support I receive from my colleagues that I work closely with (Steve Burton – Infrastructure, Matt Richmond – Infrastructure, David Howson – Transport, Lee Dursley – Acoustic and Peter Ansell – Infrastructure). We have a wealth of knowledge at the company that makes it a fantastic team to be a part of.

Any top tips or advice you would like to pass on?

The most important thing is to ensure you have a good support network around you from multiple disciplines to broaden your knowledge as much as possible. 

Ensure that you have regular catch ups with your support network to make sure you are keeping on track and in the right direction.

Senior Engineer
From Millie

Millie Rickleton

Senior Engineer

Describe your career so far:

I started my career as a Technical Assistant in November 2014 with very little experience in Civil Engineering, but I was keen to learn and am now a qualified Engineer with a BSc Honours degree in Civil Engineering. A large majority of the skills and knowledge that I possess today I have learnt on the job from my colleagues, and I also spent 5 years studying part-time for my degree from Kent University. During my time at Ardent I have spent time working within the different disciplines and have gained invaluable knowledge in Highways, Flood Risk and Infrastructure. My progress has been recognised through a series of promotions, increased responsibilities and exposure to other elements of the job such as Project Management, Site Visits and Design Team Meetings.

What makes my job interesting?

The job is interesting because it is so diverse and there is always something new to learn. It is also very rewarding being able to visit site during/post construction phase to see your designs implemented in real life.

Who or what has helped shape my career?

My colleagues have helped shape my career by passing on invaluable knowledge, making time between jobs to train me on new software and never getting bored of me asking questions!

Any top tips or advice you would like to pass on?

Be confident in your ideas and knowledge, but never be afraid to ask questions as it is the best way to learn.

Senior Engineer
From Josh

Josh Haddow

Senior Engineer

Describe your career so far:

It’s been 3 years for me at Ardent so far which has flown by. Since I joined as a Graduate Engineer in the Kent office I have learnt a lot from the people around me as well as developing my own knowledge as I’ve been exposed to different tasks on various projects. Sticking to mainly infrastructure work as an office has allowed me to see the progression in myself over the years of the skills and knowledge needed to see a project from start to finish. Being able to bounce off other people in the office has helped and I do a lot of note taking which helps for when the same task comes up again.

Ardent has been such a great place to work and that was proven during the pandemic, as someone who worked all the way through there were long hours and days but the effort was noticed and appreciated by not only my line manager but senior management members as well. It was a steep learning curve for me and looking back on it, I would say its been a benefit to my development to have worked through it. Being promoted to Senior Engineer was a surprise but to know that my line manager and the senior management had that faith in me was what I needed to take that step and push myself.

What makes my job interesting?

I would say the different challenges and constraints that each site brings keeps things interesting and makes every project different. Even though as a company and as an office we stick to mainly infrastructure work, I wouldn’t be able to say that we have 2 sites that are exactly the same.

Who or what has helped shape my career?

The people around me in the Kent office have definitely shaped me into the engineer that I am, there’s something to learn from everyone and everyone is always more than happy to help out or answer a question. Taking notes and jotting things down on a piece of paper is also a habit I have that I think has helped.

Any top tips or advice you would like to pass on?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, I will always try and tackle the problem first but if I’ve hit a wall and can’t go any further with it I’ll then ask for help, and that’s all part of engineering and working as a team, you aren’t ever going to know everything and there’s nothing wrong in asking for help.

Engineer
From Alex

Alex Ayres

Engineer

Describe your career so far:

I first joined Ardent as a Technical Assistant in the Transport Team, with very little experience after just coming out of an apprenticeship. With the help of my colleagues, I have gained valuable knowledge over the last five and a half years and have had the opportunity to work towards becoming an Assistant Engineer. As a multi-disciplinary consultancy, I have been able to assist numerous teams to enhance my skills and knowledge.

What makes my job interesting?

Working at Ardent gives me the opportunity to learn every day. No project is the same which allows me to use my current knowledge, as well as experience new things and be challenged on a daily basis.

Who or what has helped shape my career?

Everyone at Ardent has supported me throughout the years in both my education and my day to day work. I have been lucky enough to complete my HND and BSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering while working at Ardent, which I could not have done without the help and support of all of my colleagues. The company is built from many knowledgeable professionals who are always happy to help.

Any top tips or advice you would like to pass on?

Make the most of the colleagues that are there to support you, ask questions and get help when you need it. It is unlikely that you will know the answer to everything but working in a team means you can get the support where needed.

Engineer
From Julie

Julie Jenner

Engineer

Describe your career so far:

After spending 17 + years in a trade that I didn’t enjoy (Accounts), I decided to re-train to become a Civil Engineer, something that had interested me when I left school and never pursued.  During my 4 ½ years studying, I spent just a short period working for Costain (contractor for East Sussex Highways) and even though I gained valuable knowledge, I realised that an admin role within the Civil Industry was not for me and the Civil Designing was where my passion was.  I was lucky enough to be offered a job at Ardent before my degree was completed and the support and guidance I have received was invaluable to my study and assisted in me achieving a first-class BSc (Hons) Civil Engineering degree. 

In the time I have been working at Ardent I have progressed from Technical Assistant, to Technician, to Assistant Engineer and I hope to continue to grow with Ardent for many years to come.

What makes my job interesting?

Every day is different. I am presented with Engineering tasks that need solving daily, I enjoy the challenge.

Who or what has helped shape my career?

I am very grateful to David Milligan for giving me the opportunity to work at Ardent to gain experience and knowledge first hand.  With his support,  he gave me the confidence to take on tasks and broaden my knowledge and develop over the 4 years I worked for him. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor/leader to guide me to where I am today.

More recently, David Patterson has motivated me to take on more tasks out of my comfort zone to extend my expertise further. 

Any top tips or advice you would like to pass on?

If you have a passion to want to achieve something you think is out of your reach and are willing to put the work in, nothing can stop you!

Engineer
From Daniel

Daniel Martin

Engineer

Describe your career so far:

I have been very fortunate. Throughout my career so far I have been mentored and supported by some amazing people. I worked in Highways for the first half of my career albeit starting out as a draughtsman. As my knowledge base has increased I become a more rounded Civil Engineer working on schemes involving Highways, Earthworks, Level Strategies and Drainage. Over the years I have worked on a variety of projects and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your design become tangible, whether this be improvements or a completely new build scheme. Almost 3 years ago I walked into the Ardent office as an Assistant Engineer who had engineering experience but had never worked in the residential sector. With excellent guidance and endless patience of colleagues and seniors I have completed my degree and been promoted to Engineer. I would to thank everyone who has helped me get to where I am today.

What makes my job interesting?

Civil Engineering is a lot of problem solving. It is coming up with solutions that are feasible and buildable.Seeing the results of your work being built and becoming tangible is very satisfying.  Every site is unique and comes with its own challenges that make every day different and interesting. At Ardent the services we provide are broad and varied meaning you are not pigeon holed into roles that are repetitive.

Who or what has helped shape my career?

I have been in industry a number of years now and have generally studied part time alongside full-time work. This can be challenging, especially with children but also very rewarding. I joined Ardent almost 3 years ago and they have been very supportive of my career progression . Not only have they given me the time and sponsorship to complete my degree, my colleagues and seniors have provided guidance and knowledge enabling me to grow as an engineer. Ardent are also supporting on my road to Chartership with the Institution of Civil Engineers. I am currently completing my application for EngTech and will begin IEng by the end of the year. Ardent have also agreed to sponsor me through my MSc. I cannot thank them enough.

Any top tips or advice you would like to pass on?

Keep learning. The industry moves at a fast pace and legislation, standards and products are always changing. The are many webinars at lunchtimes run by companies such as Causeway and Innovyze that are free and come with CPD certificates. For students in particular my advice would be to get summer placements and work experience whilst studying; it’s what sets you apart from others.

We believe in developing and training our employees so we can promote from within as our people progress in their careers.

Chris Baker-Pearce, Managing Director