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Constructing London's future

Alex Petty is a former Construction student, and now an apprentice quantity surveyor at United Living.

We caught up with him to find out more about his apprenticeship:

I chose the Level 3 Construction & Built Environment programme at the College because it was wide in terms of what they taught you and I’ve learnt a lot from the tutors here. I’m now studying the Level 5 in Quantity Surveying at Bexley Heath College.

My tutor Charlotte pointed me in the right direction as to where I could look for my apprenticeship. I took that opportunity and I’m here today to talk to others about apprenticeships.

96 people applied for the quantity surveying apprenticeship, but only two received the position, and I was one of them.

As an apprentice quantity surveyor, day-to-day I’m in the office, paying subcontractors, totalling costs and trying to run the site as normal.

I work under the Clarion Housing Group which is in social housing. It’s a £60 million contract all over the South East and London and Clarion’s is the main contractor for United Living. We refurbish housing, with United Living doing new builds and sky rises.

My manager is really supportive of my apprenticeship, and we also have a mentor within the business who we can go to if we have any problems or to check our work. It’s really good.

My work experience placement at College in quantity surveying helped me to get the job I’m in now. It’s experience you can’t buy or teach.

I’d recommend an apprenticeship to others. You’re not paying for any university fees, and you’re also learning and receiving pay too. My parents were really supportive of my choosing an apprenticeship. All of the construction companies in London have apprenticeships because they’re the best way to form a new employee as you can go through the business and you’ll know the processes. Once I finish my five year apprenticeship I’ll know all the processes by the end of my apprenticeship. If they wanted to recruit someone who didn’t know this they’d have to teach them it all again.

Thinking about following a similar path? Take a look at our Construction apprenticeships today, or look into the construction study programmes we have on offer.