1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job role involves the costing of construction works including net build cost and any relevant preliminary items. I use a combination of bench marked data and marked tested rates to calculate these costs. I also assist with value engineering on schemes and risk analysis. I often have to liaise with sub-contractors and clients to ensure the project requirements and goals are fully understood. I work closley with other departments within the company e.g. planning, design, commercial, production, graphic design and bid writing.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes I am far more professional with my approach to work. I am far more comfortable talking with business professionals as I have started to gain a good understanding of the construction industry and how it operates. I also find it easier to focus on the task at hand now as I have been working in a office environment for the past few years, this enables me to deliver better results more efficiently. My tea making skills have also improved significantly!
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I dont have any regrets about starting the apprenticeship scheme at Wates, its been a brilliant experience so far. Its really helped me to develop as a person and become far more independent than what I would have been otherwise. I have lots of the support from the team I operate within and no question is ever a silly. I am also treated like a respected member of the team despite only having worked within the industry for a few years. I have no doubt I will remain with Wates for the foreseeable future.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I think some elements of the programme lack structure, but this means I have had to use my own initiative to organise placements etc. This has forced me to reach out to the correct people and ask for assistance - this in turn, has helped me develop far more relationships with people I probably would otherwise talk to. I would say it has the perfect level of structure as too much would feel like you have no control over what you get out of the apprenticeship.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have received full support from my employer. I have one day a week to focus on studies - which really helps. I have lots of the support from the team I operate within and no question is ever a silly. I am also treated like a respected member of the team despite only having worked within the industry for a few years. If I ever require study days for an upcoming exam its never an issue. I always have regular reviews with my line manager.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
LSBU staff can sometimes be slow to respond to email queries. They do offer lots of study resources which is good. But some bits are lacking. For example throughout the apprenticeship I have exams that feature high marking written answers, I have no been taught in a workshop or lecture how to tackle these questions which is a shame as I feel I loose out on valuable marks. Also on occasion the lecturers have been unwilling to answer queries after lectures which isnt useful.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The qualification isn't directly linked to my my role however I do feel that it helps give me a wider understanding of the construction industry as I am learning about processes I wouldn't normally undertake. I do feel like some elements of the qualification are outdated and it focuses on process and practices that are not used anymore. But overall I have learnt things that I have been able to bring into my day job.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
I often attend networking events through Wates. This allows me to develop professional relationships with people in the wider industry. The team I work within often to team social events and team building exercises. This helps us work better together and keep morale up. We also as a team do charitable activities throughout the year, this helps work better together and for a good cause. The business as a whole encourages these sorts of activities.
9a. Would you recommend Wates Group to a friend?
Wates is an employer that offers a mix of work from office based to site based which is very refreshing. It also offer lots of support and a competitive salary. The main thing is the working environment is good, to the point where work doesn't particularly feel like work. this is because the people who work at Wates are approachable, have a good sense of humour and will make an effort to make you feel like a valued member of the team.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Wates Group?
Make sure you research the roles on offer properly. Although if you don't like the role you applied for there is opportunity to swap in the future. Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly you think it is - someone will give you a helpful answer. Always be yourself at the assessment centre and show a genuine interest in the role, the assessors will pick up on these things. Even if you don't get though its a valuable learning experience.