1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am currently completing the scheme as a trainee planner which at present involves programme development on the Manchester Airport Transformation Project. Day-to-day duties include making changes / adding to the current programme and monitoring progress which involves interaction with different job roles such as other planners, engineers and designers.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
As part of the S&CL Programme I am put through a sponsored qualification which for me involves 2 years HNC, 1 year HND and 2 years on a degree in order to gain a qualification in building services. This has helped in my day-to-day work as it provides a more technical view which I wouldn't be exposed to in the planning function. I have also attended course on digital engineering (Navisworks) and Health & Safety (IOSH) which also improved my overall construction understanding. Other skills gained include computer skills such as excel, ASTA Powerproject, P6 Professional and Powerpoint all useful in my day-to-day work. The annual development modules are also beneficial in parts however there are a lot of aspects which I personally don't find useful. The development modules are a lot about psychology and how the mind works with respect to work which I personally do not find useful, however other may find it useful.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
At present I don't particularly enjoy what I am doing as it involves a lot of sitting at my desk behind a computer, however being in the pre-construction phase this is to be expected. Overall; in the year and a half I have been here I haven't not enjoyed what I have been doing as I find a lot of it interesting and get on well with the people I work with, however and at the end of the day its still work and I much rather be on a beach somewhere with a pint!
4. How valued do you feel by Laing O'Rourke?
I do feel valued by Laing O'Rourke; they put a lot of work into ensuring I am developing and my line manager trusts me with any task which he feels needs doing, and therefore I feel involved in the project.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is well organized, we have annual cohort meetings which re-enforce the programme objectives and the programme management teams work well to ensure that we are developing
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
In the time I have been at LOR I don't feel like I've required that much support from the S&CL team as most of the support I require comes directly from my line manager. However, when I have needed something they are quick to respond and the support is of use.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As mentioned in question 4 my line manager is very trusting of me and therefore and support I require directly from him is normally always of use. Being on a major project there are a lot of experienced people around me and in my experience all the people around me are more than happy to provide guidance and advice where possible
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Given that I am in the second year of the programme and am also given full funding towards a degree I think the salary which I am paid is more than fair. I can also claim expenses for travel and meals if I need to work away from home which is also a benefit. There are also opportunities for pay rises year-on-year which led to a 20% increase from year one to two.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
From my experience on my current project there are a lot of team building events put on by the client, usually on a monthly / bi-monthly basis, however this may be due to being on a major project and doesn't occur on smaller scale projects. Despite this there are events, especially at Christmas, which involve meeting outside of work.
9. Would you recommend Laing O'Rourke to a friend?
There is a lot of support throughout the programme and there are obvious routes to progress to higher positions within the company if the effort is put in.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Laing O'Rourke?
If you apply for planning be prepared for a lot of the work to be behind a computer. This is the only part of the job which I have struggled with as I find it difficult to sit behind a screen all day. Other than that just to be yourself and put research into the company prior to the interviews and assessments.
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