1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Trainee Quantity Surveyor, and have worked with two of the Laing O'Rourke Groups, Expanded Structures and Crown House Technologies. This has enabled me to work with Ground-works, and Mechanical and Electrical works. I have placed Sub Contract Payments, dealt with Sub Contract packages (concrete aggregate works), produce take offs, material cost reporting, Plant and Labour matrix's, deal with Sub Contract Variations and Contra-Charges, being involved in general site responsibilities, Final Accounts etc. These responsibilities cover three projects, one based in Bristol (BRI) and two in wales, (Sobell School, and Llandough Mental Health Hospital). I am also involved in a Cadet Programme which enables my University Degree to be sponsored for 5 years. I am also involved in Quarterly Modules throughout each year which help me to become 'experienced' in the general working environment etc.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed some skills throughout my Cadetship, in 3 years, however would have liked to have the opportunity for more responsibilities, so that I could therefore develop more skills, and become more advanced, or competent in my role. The Cadet Programme supplied me with a Logbook which is to be signed off within the 5 years. I should have already signed off 50%+ of this book, however, I have not been given the opportunity to do so (the majority of the time).
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy networking with my peers, and my colleagues, and the Modules every quarter of the year, have been fun and I have enjoyed myself. However I feel that providing the correct/suitable management, I would have enjoyed the Programme more. It is very unfortunate
4. How valued do you feel by Laing O'Rourke?
During my first 9-12 months (from employee start date), I felt very valued. I was trusted enough to take on responsibilities, and tasks and I was very well managed. I really enjoyed my job. Afterwards, I moved within the business and I had a different line manager. I felt as though everything went down-hill from then, and I was just a number to the business. As of 10 months ago, I had a new line manager who wanted me to do well, and get on with new things. They wanted me to start picking up the responsibilities I once (when I first started my employment) had, however due to the stage of the project I wasn't able to carry these responsibilities out.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The organization and structure is good. We meet up every quarter of every year. This is for modules, which help us to adapt and learn the working environment.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
At the start of my employment, I received really good and satisfying training. I was allowed to get involved in a lot of things, things I was keen to do. I then had a different manager and things went really down hill and I have become quite un-motivated. I wasn't given constant responsibilities and I felt as though I had been pushed aside - I had to try and get myself involved in tasks that (sometimes) weren't in my job description, and I felt I had to keep on asking for work (that I should have been being trained in, already). I now have a different manager, who wanted me to make the most of my training, however because the project I am on is coming to an end, there is hardly anything I can get involved in.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The Cadet Programme offers us support in adapting to the working environment, and HR are usually good in answering queries and questions we may have. I was however struggling with a personal car issue, and I was refused a Company car. Though I am not eligible wrt my job grade, I was expected to travel 500+ miles a week. I was disappointed with this, as I was losing a lot of money travelling to and from site.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary is good for my age, however, due to the industry, I have the expectancy of moving across the UK to different projects. If I were to move projects my DTA (travel allowance) would increase, however I'd like to review my salary in this instance. My expenses are all paid for. I am not eligible for a company car or phone, therefore have to use my own - this isn't ideal, however I have tried asking for both and have been refused several times. The location of my workplace isn't too bad - 1h20min max from my front door to site. This is more ideal than working in London etc. My living costs are good, however an increase to my salary would help me in saving for a house.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes. As I am in the Wales and West region of LOR, we are not winning any work, and have only the opportunity to work away (London, Oxford, etc.) however I am in the middle of being made redundant, and have therefore been in touch with other employers who have plenty of work within my home town, and are happy to employ and sponsor me.
9. Would you recommend Laing O'Rourke to a friend?
They invest in young people. They are inspiring, and have a good reputation in the Construction Industry. Providing they are under a good and determined manager, they will do well in their career and have the help and support of all LOR's employee's - the majority of W&W region are superb and are always willing to help.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Laing O'Rourke?
Make sure you are under a good manager - someone who cares about you and your career - who want you to do well - who give's you work/roles/responsibilities to take on etc. I would also suggest that if the above does not happen (like it didn't to me a lot of the time) to keep on telling people about the issue - go to HR
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