Apprentice Quantity Surveyor at Costain

Start Date:
Paddington Central London & City
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
£13,000 annually
Review Date:
May 2015

Review Score


1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


My title is an apprentice quantity surveyor, on a daily basis I am responsible for managing Subcontract packages. This can include a range of tasks such as issueing out Subcontractor Instruction Orders, assessing Compensation Events, implementing Compensation Events, updating the tracking systems in place to manage these things and reviewing Contracts/Rates. Doing this I have to internally interact with engineers, environmental team, agents, commercial managers, the client and the project director. Other responsibilities I hold are tasks I have to complete throughout the commercial periods, such as completing the Subcontract BUF for each package I hold, completing CVR, assessing Subcontractors applications for payment, producing payment certificates and the required back up, uploading payments onto our system for the Subcontractors and finally completing and uploading their liabilities onto our system

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Since beginning the apprenticeship I have undertook various systems training courses, such as E1 training (our payment and liabilities system), eB training (which enables me to produce CCM's, CQT's, EWN's, CNCE's and EXT between us the contractor and the client). Also I have undertaken other internal training courses such as vehicle compliance training, difficult conversations training and NEC contracts training and programme and time change training. On top of this I have developed personal/professional skills including a greater confidence, the ability to cope better under pressure, problem solving skills, futher mathematic skills and negotiating skills.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I really enjoy the programme especially as I am completing it slightly different to other, due to me completing the Level 3 Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment prior to beginning. This means that I work 5 days a week. I enjoy the work I have to complete on a daily basis as it is within my interests and also as it requires me to interact with some good people. The team here at the project are a big part of why I enjoy it so much because there is so much knowledge to learn from them which will help me progress further in my career, also people like to enjoy work and make jokes and have a laugh at the same time. The company culture is good as we are in a joint venture and we all work really good as a team to get the problems we face complete.

4. How valued do you feel by Costain?


I feel quite valued by Costain as they have provided me with a platform to achieve the career I would like to undertake, and I have started at the bottom on a apprenticeship and Costain are involved in helping me explore the next best step in how to achieve where I want to go in this career.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


In terms of the structure of my programme its not particularly great. But this is due to issues we encountured with my already completing the learning (Level 3 Extended Diploma) part of the apprenticeship prior to beginning.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


I do recieve support training provider but not as much as i would like. My training provider is insiting on me following a higher apprenticeship block release route for my next step whilst I would really much rather undertake a day release placement at university.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


I recieve a great deal of support from my employer. My manager is constantly pushing me foward and providing me with greater responsibilites and chance to prove myself. He also supports my future method of progressing forward to achieve where I would like to be. Also he has helped on problems (outisde of work) and has had a great attitude in making sure everything is okay and how to sort them out.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


My salary comparing to my cost is managable I would say. It would be easier if it was increased but it is a major help having my tavel cost paid for as my living cost i.e rent and lunches, dinners and etc prodominantly take up a large chunk of my wages. Im left with a small amount for social costs. I also like to move closer into central London to make it easier to get to work but is currently unmangable on my salary as it stands.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


I know Costain provide employees with two days (paid) voluntary work to get involved and help out with a local community. The company also holds a yearly sports day, which on my project is merged with another Crossrail project to provide competition. Also on a weekly basis my project provide a 5-a-side football match for people to get involved with.

9. Would you recommend Costain to a friend?


9b. Why?

I would recommend Costain to a friend because they are currently helping me to achieve the career I want, and helping me get to the highest place in that career. They are also providing me with Qualifications and the funding for them which is a major help. Futhermore Costain have helped me go down a new path in life and is a fun company to work for with groundbreaking projects to get involved in, which pioneer in engieering and construction providing plenty of oppurtunities.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Costain?

I would advise applicants for interviews to be theirself and be honest as I was honest and wasn't really the best academical candidte the interviewers had seen that day, but I admitted that and showed drive and knowledge regarding the position itself although I didnt have it on paper and showed that I actually really wanted this.

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