Lewis left school and started work as an apprentice with Walker Construction. Recently achieving promotion to Project Quantity Surveyor, Lewis has gone from strength to strength - growing not only as a QS, but as a person too.
Lewis shares how valuable his apprenticeship experience has been and what it's like to grow and develop your career with Walker Construction.
What is it like to work at Walker Construction?
I have found Walker’s to be a very welcoming environment that cares about its employees. I joined the business 3 years ago as an apprentice after deciding not to go to University, I had no experience of the construction industry and was worried that this may affect my progression within the business. However, I needn’t have worried as I have found everyone is willing to take the time to help you irrespective of their seniority and actively supports you to fulfil your potential. I always felt comfortable to ask questions and was quickly taught there is no such thing as a silly question. Its focus on people is especially apparent when you look at the number of long-standing employees in the business and is testament to Walker’s policy of promoting from within.
What is the most exciting part of your job?
It may not be the most exciting to many but I enjoy the monthly cost reporting side of my role as a QS. Working with the Project Manager to forecast where you see the profit/loss position of the project I find a great challenge and allows us to identify areas which we need to focus on to improve the cost-efficiency. It’s very rewarding when you come to the closing stages of the project and have accurately forecast the end position.
Tell us your proudest working moment to date?
My proudest moment to date would have to be the first project that I successfully oversaw by
myself. I had worked on a number of projects initially in an assistant capacity supporting other Quantity Surveyor’s in order to learn the processes, however, it is a different feeling entirely when it is you that has to answer the queries and are responsible for the commercial management of the project. I strongly believe you never truly learn until you are doing the role yourself and even though I was apprehensive given the new responsibility I was confident in my abilities and knew there was a great support system to guide me through the process.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up I had always wanted to be a Property Developer; this is still something I would like to do in the future in some capacity.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In the next 10 years I see myself progressing into a senior management role by furthering my
knowledge and experience of the QS role. I have always been driven by career progression and would ultimately like to be in a Directorship role however within 10 years may be a bit ambitious. Alongside this, I am currently working towards my AssocRICS which once I have achieved this, I would like to complete the APC for the full MRics qualification.
Would you recommend Walker Construction as an employer and why?
I would recommend Walker’s to other people as I think they are a company that allows you to
experience a variety of what the construction industry has to offer whilst supporting you to achieve personal goals as well as professional.
What do the Walker Construction values mean to you?
The one family value is one I recognise the most in Walkers not only as it is a family-owned business but by the fact there is a number of people who have had multiple generations work for the company, I don’t think you would recommend your own family to work for a business you did not believe in or like working at.
Give us an example of why Walker Construction is a happy place to work?
One thing I appreciate is the ability to work flexibly between the office, site or home, I believe
Walker realises the value of a good work life balance by offering a flexible working arrangement and makes me feel trusted as an employee.
In short, do you love your job?
Yes, I am fortunate to enjoy what I do within a supportive business.