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"Hands-on experience is crucial, as with any other job in the construction industry"

Ollie Scott

Ollie Scott is a 3rd year Apprentice Quantity Surveyor at Auburn Ainsley in Sheffield, working while studying for Hallam's BSc Quantity Surveyor degree.

"It is very useful being able to put theory into professional practice."

"Apprenticeships were introduced to us during our first year at sixth form. As soon as we were told about the various options available to us, I knew an apprenticeship would suit me best. I’ve always felt that I learn best by doing rather than watching or listening; and an apprenticeship provides just this.

Because of the nature of my chosen career I think that hands-on experience is crucial, as with any other job in the construction industry. If I had chosen to study full time at university, I feel that I would have gone into a new job with minimal experience, and so would stand out less than those who had been working in the profession for several years.

I have a multitude of roles and responsibilities that range from digital measuring and bill preparation to valuations and site progress meetings. Through doing this I have had many opportunities to interact with clients, contractors and other consultants, aiding me in the development of critical skills such as communication and customer services – something that can’t solely be built up at university alone. Due to the demanding and competitive nature of the Quantity Surveyor role, this early development is crucial in order to stand out and succeed."

"Apprenticeships also provide the opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’. This means that, unlike ordinary students that leave with massive debts, apprentices can earn a wage whilst studying and have nothing to repay in the future. In addition to this, upon completion of the degree, apprentices should graduate with a full-time job with their employer in the role that they want – this is by far the greatest benefit in my eyes.

As part of my apprenticeship it is a requirement that I carry out my APC following graduation. This is an assessment that, once passed, will provide me with a Chartered status that will considerably boost my earnings and reputation as an individual. Through my apprenticeship I am able to receive support through the university in preparation for my assessment; the university also funds the first attempt of the assessment. Those who choose to study full time will not be competent enough to pass their APC until at least 2 years of full-time employment and won’t receive the same support and funding.

To anyone considering becoming an apprentice, I'd recommend taking your time and evaluating your choices before committing to it. Personally, I’ve learnt that experience is the most effective way of making this decision. By having practical first-hand experience (volunteering, work experience or part-time work etc), I’ve found it is much easier to gauge whether you will enjoy and progress in your chosen career."

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