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A day in the life of a trainee site manager

Craig is studying the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Construction Contracting Operations at our Maidstone Campus. Day-to-day he’s a trainee site manager with Thomas Sinden Construction.

We asked him more about his role, and a typical day…

5.30am: I get up, and drive to Tunbridge Wells station to catch the train to Waterloo East, before transferring trains to Chiswick. On my journey sometimes I do some work emails or make phone calls, or I have a sleep! 

7.45am: I’m normally the first at work, and start my day with a coffee.

8.00am: Due to the noise limit in the area, we’re unable to start work until 8.00am. I’ll give out induction sheets to any new staff. I’ll also give a daily briefing to existing staff, including how many are working, what and where they’re working and health and safety they need to be aware of.

8.30am: I’ll give a site induction to the new staff, and check they know the rules and regulations about the site. We’ll take their fingerprints and details, so they can access the site through the turnstiles and I know when they’re working.

9.00am: I’ll check my emails. On a Monday morning I complete a blue book which contains all of the relevant site documents from the previous week. I’ll also do my weekly site report including how many staff were on site, and report any defects. I’ll complete the daily allocation forms for the subcontractors, to confirm their work as well as the number of hours they’ve worked.

9.30am: I’m out on-site taking photographs of the work. I can’t take four steps without being stopped to answer questions!

10.00am: I’ll have a quick break (and a coffee) before getting back to my reports and blue book

12.00pm: We have a health and safety meeting with the subcontractors, which I sometimes run as it’s good experience for me.

1.00pm: I try and fit in a lunch (sometimes out by the Thames!), depending how busy I am.

2.00pm: I’ll be back answering emails and dealing with any site instructions, problems or discrepancies over the drawings. At the moment I’m working on Pier House which is an office block refurbishment. It’s a fire damaged building in a conservation area and we’ve had to demolish the rear façade. The ground workers come in to put in the fittings and drainage, before the steelworkers come in and finally it’s window fittings, interiors and brickwork.

I need to make sure everything is to time, and order additional materials if needed. This will then go to our quantity surveyor to approve.

3.00pm: I’ll show the quantity surveyor around the site, or the health and safety adviser. He’ll make observations, complete an audit and recommend improvements.

I’ll also stock count any deliveries, such as materials or plant, and set up barriers to pedestrians.

I make sure everyone is wearing the right PPE, and we have a strict system if this isn’t followed.

Work finishes between 4 and 5pm, but can be as late as 6pm. I’ll then lock up the site and head home.


Before upskilling to a trainee site manager position, Craig was a concrete pump operator. He transferred for the career progression opportunities, and has his sights set on the direct route up to the director of construction!

Interested in a Construction programme or apprenticeship at the College? Find out more here.