CAPTION – From left: Justine Chadwick with Peter Godfrey

Nearly 50 jobs are to be created at the UK’s largest construction material testing laboratory in Coventry at SOCOTEC Central – and people of all ages and experience are being encouraged to apply.

SOCOTEC moved into new 50,000 ft2 premises at the Leofric Business Park in Progress Close, Binley, earlier this year after receiving help with its move from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub.

The business provides technical expertise and testing, inspection and compliance services to a wide range of sectors including infrastructure, safety compliance and sustainability, environmental compliance, building control and fire consultancy. SOCOTEC currently employs 80 staff at its Coventry facility and is planning to recruit significantly over the coming months.

SOCOTEC Central has recently secured a four-year contract to support a local contractor on a prestigious transport project providing concrete compliance testing on 80km of track between the Chiltern Tunnels and Long Itchington in Warwickshire.

The business is also about to create one of the largest geotechnical laboratories in the UK which is set to be completed early next year. Using the latest advanced equipment which can offer real time data uploads into a cloud-based client portal it will allow SOCOTEC clients to have unparalleled access to their information in a clear and concise format.

Peter Godfrey, Major Projects Director at SOCOTEC UK, said “With SOCOTEC securing a significant testing project locally and also building the geotechnical laboratory in parallel means there are circa 50 vacancies for trainee construction materials technicians available which can be either field based or within the laboratory environment at Central.

“These entry level positions require no previous experience and full training will be given so anyone at the start of their working career or looking to make a change from their current job have a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop with SOCOTEC. Both laboratory and field technician positions do require the employee to be comfortable with significant manual handling activities to facilitate the physical and mechanical testing of soils, aggregates and concrete.

“SOCOTEC Central is first and foremost a training facility. We’re proud to be providing a platform for people who want to work in the construction testing, inspection and compliance market.

“I started as a trainee technician myself, thinking I was joining a ‘white lab-coat’ chemical or medical laboratory which was really not the case. It’s physically demanding but interesting and incredibly rewarding, including competitive salaries and opportunities for overtime and career progression. This is a great career prospect that doesn’t require a degree or higher education – it just needs people who are willing to work hard and learn on the job.

“Work on our additional state-of-the-art geotechnical laboratory facilities will start in October to support all major infrastructure projects we are involved in throughout the UK. We have the infrastructure in place, we just need to fit it out and find the next generation of materials experts.

“The Growth Hub is providing support with our recruitment drive and helped us with our move when we merged our Southam and Daventry offices as well as with valuable networking opportunities.

“We are holding a number of assessment days in the coming months which will be a great opportunity for anyone interested in joining SOCOTEC to come along, have a look at the laboratory and talk to everyone from technicians to directors.”

Justine Chadwick, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said its CW Employment Solutions website was a great resource for businesses such as SOCOTEC Central.

“We launched CW Employment Solutions for employers, recruiters, job seekers and education leavers to connect, find jobs, post vacancies and access the wealth of support that is available across the region – and it is proving to be a huge success,” she said.

“The Growth Hub is supporting SOCOTEC with its recruitment drive and the high number of vacancies it has available is testament to its success at winning new contracts as well as adding to its infrastructure.”