Balfour Beatty VINCI, Birmingham – Materials Testing Technician (Level 3)

Your next step towards your dream career…


Do you want the chance to say you were a part of history? If so, we’re offering you the opportunity to work using cutting edge technology to test construction materials that will bring the dream of HS2 to life. HS2 is a state-of-the-art, high-speed line critical for the UK’s low carbon transport future.

In the West Midlands, HS2 is powered by two of construction’s biggest employers: Balfour Beatty & VINCI (BBV). Both companies are committed to enhancing the lives of future generations by designing a transformational rail system that is admired around the world. They are also making HS2 a fantastic place to work for all – including increasing opportunities for women working in construction. Don’t take it from us, hear it from one of VINCI’s top female apprentices:


Working with BBV has given me the opportunity to increase my knowledge within all construction related sectors. Guidance and experience from individuals, such as consultants and principal engineers, has not only helped increase my knowledge, but has also helped me grow professionally and given me the confidence to communicate with people at all levels.” –

Kennedy McCarthy.

This really is an opportunity to start a new career that could change your life. Dan was one of BBV’s top apprentices. He now works on HS2 and is a mentor to some of our newest apprentices:


 “I came a long way as a person during the apprenticeship. It gave me a career and made me feel like I belonged.”

Dan, Materials Technician Apprentice.

Do not miss out on this opportunity to change your future whilst being part of history!


The role:

As a Materials Technician Apprentice, you’ll be working in a laboratory but not as you know it! Be prepared to get mucky as you get to know your materials. This won’t be a sterile environment and requires someone who’s not afraid to get stuck in.

Working as part of a close-knit team, you won’t be alone. You’ll be supported and guided, learning on the job as you go, by a team of other apprentices and experienced materials technicians. Being an apprentice is hands-on, so you’ll get the chance to learn things you might otherwise not have experienced in a university or college environment.  

As a member of BBV HS2’s laboratory team you’ll push construction materials to their limits ensuring that they’re safe and reliable to use. These materials will need to exist for many years to come without expensive maintenance, without damaging the structure and without endangering human life.  

No two days are ever the same with Balfour Beatty VINCI. You’ll not only spend time between testing on site and testing in the lab, but you’ll also visit and work at several locations nearby – a great opportunity to meet others to aid professional progression and skill sharing. 


The apprenticeship:

Over 21 months, you’ll devote 20% of your time to working towards a Level 3 Laboratory Technician apprenticeship. You’ll be trained by an expert tutor from Tiro, who’ll make sure you develop the knowledge, skills, and work habits you’ll need to succeed in your apprenticeship.

“Having a supportive employer like Balfour was brilliant, because they really saw my potential and developed me as an asset for the future. I was treated the same as any other technician.”

Dan, Materials Technician Apprentice. 

Hear more from Dan about what it’s like to be a materials testing apprentice.  



When? Hours: Monday – Friday, 40 hours per week plus weekend overtime where needed. Shift work may be a requirement.

Where? Various site locations across the 90km stretch managed by Balfour Beatty VINCI. These include: Cappers Lane (WS14 9JP) and Coleshill Heath Road (B46 3JB)

For how long? Permanent, including a 21 month apprenticeship

How much? You’ll earn £15,000 a year, plus you will receive all the training and support you need to become a qualified Level 3 Materials Technician. 


What you’ll be doing: 

  • Working alongside other team members, testing the properties of construction materials including concrete, aggregates and asphalt. 
  • Improving the performance of existing products, to eliminate faults with materials already in use. 
  • Helping bring materials testing in the 21st century using new technologies (e.g. Switching over to automated processes, new ergonomic equipment or even new recording and reporting systems.) 
  • Developing an understanding, knowledge and practical methods used to examine materials, including non-destructive testing (NDT).  
  • Following testing methods to ensure safety and quality and to support the lab in maintaining its accreditation to operate 
  • Travelling to and from sites, collecting materials to be tested. 


Through training and development provided, you’ll work towards excellence in the following areas: 

  • Undertake 2-year apprenticeship to Level 3.
  • Ensure all work is undertaken safely in accordance with required processes
  • Undertake testing of materials including aggregates, concrete and asphalt in accordance with required standards, in the laboratory and on construction sites.
  • Comply with the high standards of work required by the Quality Management Systems to required deadlines
  • Maintain equipment to required standards as required by the Laboratory Manager
  • Proactively communicate with senior staff to ensure effective communication
  • Attend training courses and assessments as required by the apprenticeship standard and Balfour Beatty / Taylor Woodrow and maintain training records.


Potential career paths: 

After completing your Level 3 apprenticeship there are many pathways available to you at Balfour Beatty VINCI and beyond. Here are some examples of how your career may progress:  

  • Level 4/5 Technician Scientist apprenticeship   
  • Senior technician (Average salary £29,015/year) 
  • Materials Engineer (Average salary £34,565/year)
  • Laboratory Manager (Average salary £38,207/year) 
  • Project lead (Salary bonuses) 

Find out more about career opportunities after your apprenticeship in general.


Personal qualities: 

  • An interest in construction, science or laboratory testing 
  • Proactive in identifying problems and defects
  • Flexibility to work out of hours including night shifts and weekend working as required
  • Willing to travel to various locations across the UK
  • Committed to self-development
  • Accurate and meticulous person
  • Comfortable working on your feet
  • Creative and innovative
  • A strong team player


Essential qualifications: 

  • 3 GCSE grades C/4 or above (or equivalent) including Maths and English 
  • Full UK driving license

How to apply  

Hit ‘apply now’ below and choose the role you want from the drop down menu. 

You’ll need to let us know some information about you and attach your CV if you have one. It should only take around 5 minutes. 

After that, you can expect… 

  • Closing date: 4th October 
  • Telephone interviews: 10th September to 6th October 
  • Virtual assessment centres: 11th and 12th October 
  • Final interviews: 13th and 14th October 
  • Offers: 18th October 
  • Expected start date: 15th November