Why did you join Turner & Townsend?
I joined Turner & Townsend because they are a massive company with a fantastic reputation which was broadcasted whilst I was studying level 3 Construction and Civil Engineering at Newcastle College. I read about the company online on the official and third party websites before sending away my application. They are known for getting the full potential out of their young people and offer full support in order to excel in their professional development. Being the most recognised consultancy company in construction I knew Turner & Townsend had a lot more to offer than other companies and are head and shoulders above the rest of the consultancy companies especially dominating the market in the North East.
What is your apprenticeship course and level?
I am enrolled on the new surveying degree apprenticeship at Northumbria University. The course is a level 6 (degree level) and lasts 5 years.
Did you have any previous experience before joining Turner & Townsend?
I had no experience before I joined Turner & Townsend as I went on to study Level 3 construction and civil engineering at Newcastle College as soon as I left school.
What does the programme offer you?
This programme offers me the chance to become a highly qualified and well established quantity surveyor as I get to work with and get tutored by some of the best professionals in the country. I also have the chance to grow strongly in both aspects being in academic studies and in the workplace as I get the best of both worlds which in my opinion maximises what I get out of the next 5 years instead of going full time at university. This programme offers me to help gain a surveying degree and valuable work experience with a view to become chartered shortly after my degree.
What are your priorities in your first year?
In the first year my priorities are gaining the best possible mark I can at university as well as settling in with my peers at the Newcastle office which I have done so. I have made it a priority to gain as much experience as I can to help excel in my development as a trainee quantity surveyor into the next step which is an assistant. I have gotten to be efficient at CostX which is what Turner & Townsend use to calculate costs and plays a vital part in our role.
How do you think apprentices are viewed in the company?
Apprentices at Turner & Townsend are treated with the same respect as all of the other professionals. There is no divide at all and you are part of the team straight away, there is a brilliant unity about Turner & Townsend which in my opinion is the biggest factor of helping an apprentice settle in and kick start their development. We are always included in every project and are given trust and responsibility and our abilities are always believed in.
What projects have you been able to work on?
When I first came to the company back in September 2017 I had not been assigned to any specific projects as I was a new starter, I did a lot of the basics for different project to help start my understanding of the construction process which was the perfect thing. An example of this was comp checking, through this I was able to see what the different elements of a cost were. Now I have been properly assigned to projects and the best thing about it is since Turner & Townsend are a massive company there is a wide range of projects I am assigned to such as a new pharmaceutical build, a civic centre refurb and the development of educational sites.
A typical day for me is…
A typical day for me as an apprentice at the moment is looking at the new drawings that are issued and then calculate the cost of the new design. From this I then produce a take-off which is where I take the measurements and apply them to the current rates. This could be a various amount of cost such as calculating the cost of reinforced concrete being added, the cost of fire protection for steel beams and the different ground materials for landscaping. I also have people going through tasks with me every day and what they are doing so I pick up more knowledge.
What has been your biggest learning experience so far?
My biggest learning experience is going onto site and see the different aspects of construction. I believe this is where you can see how various elements of construction fit together. Also another big experience this year is learning how to be efficient on costs as it has allowed me to take on bigger tasks, thus improving my understanding of construction.
Any other information you would like to share?
I am delighted and privileged to have been awarded such an opportunity to get my career started early with the best consultancy in construction. It is exciting to be working alongside some of the best quantity surveying professionals in the country and get given great advice and absorb valuable experiences, things that you wouldn’t learn whilst just being at university. This programme is perfect for someone who wants to start their career early and maximise the professional development in the first five years of their career.