At Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), we take on around 10 apprentices a year; offering sponsorships and learning support for undergraduates on RICS/CIOB accredited courses. Our aim is to develop our apprentices to become rising stars of the future, and help kick start a successful career in construction.
To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2017 we spoke to Maycee Keenan, an RLB apprentice based in our Cumbria office, about her work in the nuclear sector:
What made you decide to take an apprenticeship?
I had been considering university courses such as Business Administration, Business Management, Project Management, and Quantity Surveying, but knew I would have preferred to stay close to home. In the end I decided to look into an apprenticeship in these areas, as they were able to offer qualifications and experience at the same time.
Has your apprenticeship at RLB changed your idea of the construction industry?
Yes – the course I’m undertaking at university is Quantity Surveying and this first year has been mainly construction based. For example one of the modules I am studying is construction technology, which has really helped me get to know a lot more about the industry and how it works.
Can you describe a typical day for an apprentice at RLB?
I work alongside a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, assisting him with everyday tasks such as attending meetings and looking at early warnings and compensation events. During application week (the last working week of the month) we have many applications for payment which need to be checked through and, if there are any issues, they need to be resolved before we can issue the payment certificates. Working in the nuclear sector means that I am getting experience beyond what I am studying at University – the work I do on site is more commercial based, whereas university is heavily construction based. This includes attending weekly catch up meetings with the team I work with.
Have you enjoyed you time at RLB?
So far I have really enjoyed my time at RLB: I’ve met some really lovely people, and everyone is extremely welcoming and will do anything to try and help if you need it.
What has been the most valuable thing you have learnt during your apprenticeship?
I have learnt to never be afraid to ask questions! This is because everyone is always willing to help you if you need it, and will always answer your questions as best they can. Asking questions also helps a lot with development because if you’re stuck with something and you’re too scared to ask the question you may never find the answer.
What Advice would you give to those looking to do an apprenticeship?
Make sure you know what you want to do – I know of a lot of people who started an apprenticeship and it hasn’t been what they expected. I’d also say get stuck in and get the qualifications you need, and always be prepared! I prepared for my interview with RLB for weeks and it definitely paid off, it really boosts your confidence if you know what you’re talking about.
Do you think your apprenticeship will help to achieve your ambitions for the future?
My apprenticeship with RLB will definitely help to achieve my future ambitions. After I have completed my degree in 4 years’ time, I intend to go on to gain my RICS professional qualification and become a member of the RICS (their professional body) and a chartered Quantity Surveyor.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship to a friend?
I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship to a friend. You are gaining qualifications whilst getting the experience you need to do your job well – and you get paid whilst doing it! There are no university fees to be tied to for years, and gaining the experience alongside my qualification will prove very valuable in the future.
You can find out more about apprenticeships and National Apprenticeship Week here.