6 June 2023
Lisa Grears is an NDT technician who pursued her career in Non-Destructive Testing through an apprenticeship programme with Skills Training UK. In a chat with us, Lisa talked about her journey and shared her experience as an NDT apprentice.
Lisa started in business admin, working at her family business Responsive LTD, which focuses on Non-Destructive Testing. She became fascinated by the work the technicians were doing and wanted to get more involved with that aspect of the workload. Lisa said, “I just wanted to be able to help out really; It was interesting because before I got that job, I didn’t know anything about NDT at all. So, when I started to find out what it was, I thought it was really interesting.”
As an apprentice, Lisa shared some of the most important qualities one should possess to succeed in the programme. She believes that working as part of a team, accepting challenges, having integrity, and being accountable are essential qualities to possess in the field.
Lisa shared with us how she wasn’t without challenges within her apprenticeship: she found the theoretical side of the MPI method to be quite challenging, especially because it involved magnetism and physics, two subjects she didn’t enjoy in school. Lisa admitted that at first, she thought it was too hard. However, with the help of tutors and colleagues who were also on the same apprenticeship, Lisa succeeded and passed the theory section of the course.
When asked how she handled difficult or high-pressure situations during her apprenticeship, both professionally and personally, Lisa admitted that it was not easy. As a mother of three, finding time to do everything was a challenge. She had to balance coursework with her job, managing two other apprentices, and her role as an administrator. Planning ahead was crucial to her success. She said, “It was a matter of organising, and prioritising what needed to be done first and what could be left for later.”
One positive aspect to her planning is that Lisa and her husband work together; He set up the company Responsive, which made it easier for Lisa to balance her work and family life.
When asked about her experience working with tools and equipment, Lisa said that she felt fine with most things because she had the training and the right guidance.
She had direct support, so if she needed to ask questions, there was always somebody there to help. She felt comfortable asking for guidance from her already qualified colleagues at Responsive. The only thing that she had trouble with was the MPI Yoke, as it was rather heavy – but she always had colleagues on hand to help with lifting.
Lisa also discussed the importance of having a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. She acknowledged that everyone makes mistakes, but the key is to learn from them and not let them discourage you.
Lisa’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance and hard work. She faced numerous challenges during her apprenticeship, but with the support of her colleagues, tutors, and family, she was able to overcome them and succeed in her chosen career. Lisa’s journey also highlights the value of apprenticeships as a means of learning, developing new skills, and gaining experience. As Lisa said, “the benefit of an apprenticeship is the fact that you get the chance to learn on the job. And, like we said before, you’ve got people around you who can help you out, who are there for guidance.”
Lisa Grears’ story is an inspiration to anyone who may be facing challenges in their chosen career path. With a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, and the right support network, it is possible to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. Lisa’s experience as an NDT apprentice demonstrates the importance of teamwork, integrity, accountability, and perseverance in the field.
Eleven Benefits of Apprenticeships for Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the UK
Outstanding Midlands-based Tutor, Gemma Smith, nominated for Tutor of the Year Awards.