Lawrence Evans - Quantity Surveying Apprentice

What do you enjoy about working in the construction industry?

Innovation and variety is integral to construction, and these are things that I value highly in an industry. The nature of construction projects means that I am never doing the same thing too long, and that I get the opportunity to do a range of tasks.

In addition, working in construction gives you a chance to positively influence the community, and make a real difference in people’s lives. I personally find that extremely rewarding.

What attracted you to join Mace?

Mace is an international company with an excellent reputation, but not just for their delivery of work; Mace has a reputation of being excellent to work for and of valuing their staff highly. Mace is also known for delivering iconic projects that shape the face of cities, even countries. For me, I have started a career where I can go home feeling proud at the end of the day.

In addition to this, Mace offered a structured training programme as well as an option to rotate and try out the different areas and specialisms within quantity surveying, which is something that competitors are simply not able to offer.

What projects have you worked on? What opportunities have you had?

So far I have been placed in the commercial offices sector of Mace Cost Consultancy. This has given me the opportunity to work on commercial office projects for a number of high profile clients such as Citibank, HSBC, Deutcshe Bank and NHS Property Services.

I have been given increasing responsibility in my first 6 months at Mace, and I have had the opportunity to take the lead on a number of packages for the projects that I have been working on.

What training have you received?

Mace have provided a structured internal training programme to go along with our university training. These training sessions have been invaluable to our development. They are an excellent place to ask questions about things that you haven’t fully understood, or anything you’ve come across in your day job that you want to know more about.

Tell us what you enjoy most about your current role at Mace.

I enjoy the variety in my job role. In my time at Mace, I have had the opportunity to do so many different things, depending on what stage the construction project is at. In addition to that, I especially enjoy site visits and meetings with the clients and contractors.

Tell us about your proudest achievement at Mace.

So far my proudest achievement at Mace was going to the 2017 Higher and Degree Apprenticeship conference on behalf of Mace. I was part of a panel of apprentices who talked about their careers, as well as what companies can do to raise awareness of the benefits of doing an apprenticeship. This boosted my confidence in public speaking.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?

Adaptability and a passion for learning is key. Starting as an apprentice means that you have a whole lot to learn, so you have to be ready to adapt and try and pick up as much information as you can. In addition, knowing how to ask for help is extremely important to not being overwhelmed.

For Quantity Surveying in particular, a good eye for detail, as well as excellent communication and teamwork skills is vital to you succeeding in your job role.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do? What is the best route? What do they need to do?

For anyone looking to get into Quantity Surveying, I would definitely recommend the apprenticeship route. The experience and exposure you gain starting off is unparalleled, and you are able to learn aspects of the job that is impossible to learn in a classroom.

A great number of my more experienced colleagues have remarked that they wish they had gotten into surveying through the apprenticeship route themselves.

What do you think are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship as opposed to going to university?

In my opinion, the benefits are huge. You can obtain a degree without incurring huge debts while earning a salary, as well as gaining the work experience that you would have needed to gain a job if you went to university the traditional way. By the end of your degree apprenticeship, you will have a wealth of practical experience as well as the theory gained from university. This puts you at a massive advantage to your peers who have gone to university the traditional route. For me, an apprenticeship is an easy decision.

What do you hope you will be doing in the next 5-10 years?

In the next 5-10 years, I would like to have achieved my degree, have become a chartered member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and have been promoted to a senior manager role. I would also like to be working in a different country – preferably somewhere hotter than England!

What might someone be surprised to know about you? Or, what are you passionate about outside of work?

Outside of work, I play football once a week and spend a lot of time going out with friends. I am also very passionate about travelling, and will often go on day trips and long weekends away to visit other countries and try and experience their culture.

How much interaction do you get with the other apprentices on the programme?

Several of the other apprentices on the programme are also based at head office in Moorgate. We often meet up for lunch, or go out after a training session. In addition all the Quantity Surveying apprentices meet together every week for University – this is a great opportunity to socialise and talk about how we are all finding work and the training so far.

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