Continuing to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we interviewed Rory Gibson, an Apprentice Building Surveyor in our Eltham Head office, about his time at Baily Garner so far.

What attracted you to do an apprenticeship?

I am a visual learner and find that experience-based learning suits me best. I also liked the idea of having five years of relevant experience by the time I graduate. Another plus is that your tuition fees are paid for you.

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

I am involved with lots of different types of work on a weekly basis such as site visits and survey work as well as things like valuations and writing specifications.

Describe a typical day for you.

Currently, a typical day for me will be spent working on the London Borough of Redbridge framework, which at the moment involves producing briefing documents and specifications for their 2020-21 and 2021-22 programmes. Our work on the framework includes advising on feasibility of repair and refurbishment works to update their properties, and then getting involved with procurement and managing the works on site.

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

The most important thing I have learnt so far at Baily Garner is more to do with how I work than specific technical knowledge. I have found that my time management and general organisation skills have massively improved over my time here and both are fundamental to delivering quality work.

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

I find jobs where I have higher responsibility most exciting – completing work that you know you have contributed heavily towards gives a sense of achievement.

Who do you work with on a daily basis?

As an apprentice, I find it beneficial to have regular contact with my mentor and project team leaders. This doesn’t have to be daily but regular communication ensures there are open channels to raise issues/ask for help.

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

I was lucky enough to be involved with the trial run of the QCI development week, where I spent five days on site with our Quality Control Inspectors, running through real life examples of technical/quality issues.

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

I find that my work and university life both feed into one another. Often the knowledge gained on site helps contribute towards written coursework.

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

Being surrounded with people that are so willing to aid with my personal development, whether that be shadowing, mentoring or just sharing knowledge.

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

When you don’t know, ask. I hesitated to ask for help when I first started, but I have learnt over my time so far, the more questions you ask the more you will develop your knowledge.