Family-run Inverclyde business provides training for local young people

Ross and Maria Cameron (A & I Geotechnical)

A FAMILY-run Inverclyde business is hiring and training young people in the field of ground investigation, after the business owners accessed specialist advice from Business Gateway.  

A & I Geotechnical is supporting youths in the local community by providing them with training and qualifications in the field of geotechnical ground investigation, which the team are experts in. 

The team has practical experience on a variety of sites throughout the UK. 

A & I Geotechnical offer a full range of in-house geotechnical services including trial pitting, dynamic sampling, cable percussion, technician services, surveying, site supervision, reporting and project management. 

The business was founded in 2016 by Ross Cameron and is still led by Ross and supported by his wife Maria Cameron. At the heart of the business is family and their name is inspired by two of their children. A team that once consisted of just Ross now has six team members and is looking to grow further. Four of these team members are young professionals who they have trained, two of them being their sons.  

One of the company’s key goals is to provide jobs for young people and give them training in a field they may not have considered. This came from a lack of experienced people in the area, so Ross decided to begin hiring and training young people to teach them all about ground investigation, helping them work towards an NVQ in Land Drilling.  

The basic training for these members of staff takes two years, but Ross and Maria are keen to expand this and train them to do even more. Their two sons are further along in their training and so now get involved in the teaching of the less experienced members of the team. 

Though it is a small business, the team want to give back to the local area by sponsoring events and sports teams, using local suppliers where possible and only employing people in the Inverclyde area. 

When they approached Business Gateway, Ross and Maria met their adviser Mario Alonzi, who has been able to provide advice on growing their business and guidance on how to apply for funding from a range of sources.  

Through this support, the couple has received wage-subsidy grants from Inverclyde Council and has managed to secure a place on the Inverclyde Business Growth Programme. The programme allowed Maria to learn more about aspects like finance, net zero, strategy and growth mindset and provided great tips on how to improve workflow and performance.  

The couple received 1:1 business support from Mario, as well as being signposted to his wider network and given innovation support. Business Gateway also helped them to facilitate recruitment of new members of the team. 

Maria Cameron, Director of A & I Geotechnical said: “Mario has given us fantastic help and advice. With his support, we have managed to secure a grant for equipment that will help us expand the business and also secured a meeting with Scottish Enterprise.  

“Mario has been a great help in continuing to grow the business and provide us with invaluable support.” 

Mario Alonzi, Business Gateway adviser said: “By helping Ross and Maria to grow their business and access funding, we have supported the hiring and training of people in the local community. I look forward to seeing how they continue to grow their business and give back to the area.” 

To find out more about how Business Gateway can help your business, visit  

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