Ben Brewster is an Apprentice Project Manager in our Eltham office and is currently studying for a degree in Quantity Surveying at London Southbank University. This is what he had to say about doing an apprenticeship at Baily Garner.
What attracted you to do an apprenticeship?
The opportunity to learn and earn at the same time. Industry experience is so important, not just because of the knowledge you gain, but because you get to work with people that have more experience, enabling you to learn from them.
What kind of work have you been getting involved with as part of your apprenticeship?
I have been lucky to get involved in a wide variety of projects from schools to new houses and am hoping in the future I can work on blue light projects, as we are working on a few of these across the practice at the moment, including for the Metropolitan Police.
Describe a typical day for you.
My typical day starts at 8am thanks to flexible working hours, which mean that I get to finish at 4.15pm! I start by going through my emails to add any tasks to my to do list. From there I will have some meetings where I take minutes. When I am not in meetings, I am working on tasks to assist the project team and move our projects forward. One the of the main skills I use is problem solving, as this key to ensuring projects are delivered to the correct parameters.
What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learnt so far?
Detail is the most important aspect of anything as it enables you to be covered if something goes wrong. If a problem arises and you need to figure something out, it’s important to have detailed notes to use when putting together an action plan on how to overcome any issues as a team.
What’s the most exciting project / piece of work you’ve been involved in?
Our project for London Borough of Redbridge, which is a multi-disciplinary housing project with five sites. It is an exciting project because I will get to see it from start to finish and it is the largest project I have worked on, so the sheer size and impact it will have on the community excites me.
Who do you work with on a daily basis? Do you have contact with clients?
On a daily basis I am working on a variety of exciting projects in a lot of different sectors. I do have some communication with clients but at the moment I am spending my time learning about as much construction knowledge as I can so that I can benefit the client team, which is important for providing quality customer care.
What opportunities have you had for learning and training at Baily Garner?
I have been given the opportunity to get my degree and become an accredited surveyor which is an amazing opportunity and I am sure along the way there will be other things I can do, as there are lots of training sessions available on a variety of topics.
How are you finding the balance between working and studying at university?
I am doing fine with the university balance due to the fact that Baily Garner have given me continuous support and guidance on this matter.
What’s your favourite thing about Baily Garner in general?
The fact that I have been given a wide variety of opportunities along with the great amount of support I have been given to excel in my work.
Finally, what advice would you give to future apprentices joining Baily Garner?
Get involved in everything, it will enable you to accelerate your career fast. Also, try your best at all times and apply yourself in everything you do because even the small jobs on a £20m project matter.