National Apprenticeship Week – Jai


The third of our interviews with our current apprentices this week is with Jai Ghai. Jai is a Trainee Building Surveyor in our Birmingham office and is working towards a Building Surveying degree at Birmingham City University. Here’s how he summed up his apprenticeship at Baily Garner.

What attracted you to do an apprenticeship?

The opportunity of gaining industry knowledge from a job whilst progressing through education at University attracted me to being an apprentice. Apprenticeships promote the progression of education, organisation, and commitment skills.

What kind of work have you been getting involved with as part of your apprenticeship?

Having been an apprentice for 5 months, I have been exposed to a variety of different work. My work is mainly project-based. This enables me to grow skills such as communicating efficiently with external organisations and internally with colleagues on parts that require experience and further thought. However, my day remains highly eventful as I can receive work from Building Surveyors and Mechanical and Electrical Engineers.

Describe a typical day for you.

I ensure a typical working day for me is efficient, methodical, and well planned, including consulting with my mentor, attending Teams meetings, setting up documents for clients in time for tender, meeting targets and deadlines. I also work closely with other colleagues included on the project.

What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learnt so far?

The most important knowledge I have gained so far is to allocate enough time and effort to increase your output and professional development. Enhancing these skills will lead to progression and break-down barriers of difficulty. Organising my day effectively and communicating regular updates is very important.

What’s the most exciting project / piece of work you’ve been involved in?

One of the most exciting projects I participated in was the condition survey that took place at Wrenn Secondary School. This project was particularly interesting for me because I was involved in surveying the build quality. I enjoyed identifying pros and cons whilst working with colleagues and considering different features we could add to increase the quality of living for the occupiers.

Who do you work with on a daily basis? Do you have contact with clients?

On a daily basis, I have contact with my mentor who allocates my work. I am required to attend meetings with clients, contractors, and consultants to collaborate on project needs, requirements, and successes. The majority of these meetings take place via calls where we discuss live projects and daily meetings are held to brief me on tasks allocated to reinforce learning.  My activities vary day to day, for example I recently carried out a site visit with a Clerk of Works.  My role requires contact with a variety of other functions on a project for example engineers, surveyors, project managers and architects.

What opportunities have you had for learning and training at Baily Garner?

Baily Garner ensures training sessions are structured so that my learning will progress effectively by familiarising myself with the use of independent systems, active regulations and the professional development required for my role. Along the way, opportunities have arisen where I have applied my learning, for example on carrying out condition surveys, site visits, involvement in the tender process and specification writing.

How are you finding the balance between working and studying at university?

Working in a job and completing a degree at the same time requires planning and dedication. I ensure adequate preparation is completed in all ways possible for the successful delivery of project and academic work.  At times it can be challenging, for example delivering on a project at work which is time critical and studying towards a test for the end of a module for University.  They both require time and commitment but having support from Baily Garner ensures both workloads are manageable on an ongoing basis.

What’s your favourite thing about Baily Garner in general?

My favourite aspect of Baily Garner is the ethical values we stand for. We ensure quality and client experience is of the highest standard. Being proud of the company I work for enhances my passion for maintaining high standards for project output every day.

Finally, what advice would you give to future apprentices joining Baily Garner?

The advice I would give to a future apprentice is to ensure that you try your best in producing work whilst always receiving feedback to further your skills. Apprentices require commitment and organisation skills to ensure their development goals are reached.  You need passion and persistence, it’s a fast-paced environment with a lot to learn.  Another piece of advice – ask lots of questions!