We do a lot more than play our part in building incredible structures. We help build brilliant careers too. But what’s it like to be an apprentice at Walker Sime? What apprenticeships do we offer? And why should you care? Clare Gilmour, our Talent Acquisition Manager, takes you on a step-by-step journey.
We’re a construction business. But what we really are is a people business, because behind every project we complete is an army of talented people who make it happen. We’re fortunate to have lots of experience on our team, and that’s absolutely vital to us. But it’s also important that we look to the future and support the development of the next generation of industry experts.
That’s where our apprentices come in. We work really hard to find fresh talent and bring it onboard. Then we support our apprentices, nurturing, training and mentoring them so that they build skills that will last them a lifetime. Then we give them lots of brilliant opportunities to put their knowledge into action.
But what’s it like to be an apprentice with Walker Sime? How do you become one? And what will happen during your apprenticeship? Let’s start right back at the beginning …
Quantity surveying? Project management? What’s that?
Take a look around you. Somewhere in the distance you can probably see a big construction crane that’s part of a major project to build a new block of apartments, a leisure centre, new parkland or a motorway junction.
Someone has to work out what materials will be needed to build all those things. Someone will have to work out how much all of that will cost (and then get the various parties to agree those costs). Someone will have to make sure everything then happens to plan.
That’s what we do. That’s what our apprentices are learning to do, and they’re doing it on some of the most exciting construction projects happening across our region.
Our quantity surveyors (QS), project managers (PM) and more help shape the world we live in, and for years afterwards they’re able to walk around our cities saying, “I helped build that.”
What skills do I need to be an apprentice quantity surveyor or project manager?
You’ll need to have left school with good grades (especially in subjects like maths, physics and English). And you’ll need to complete an HNC/HND in Building Studies or A-levels in related subjects at college.
Beyond that, we’re looking for switched on people, people who are willing to learn, willing to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in, people who want to learn and develop, but who arrive with a good work ethic from day one (e.g. punctual, inquisitive, and who have a bit of oomph about them).
If you have all of those, you’re ready to apply for an apprentice job with us.
In the career route map below, we show you the step by step from leaving school to becoming a fully accredited professional in the industry.
What happens on a PM or QS apprenticeship?
You balance your time between university study and on-the-job learning. At Walker Sime, you’ll be alongside some of the most experienced people in their field and they’ll help you develop your skills as part of a structured training plan. We are proud to look after our apprentices during their RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) accreditation journey and an important part of this is helping our apprentices undergo the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), with the mentoring of counsellors from within our business. Our counsellors know the process of accreditation inside out, help apprentices plan ahead and identify gaps in their knowledge and skillset, so that these can be addressed early.
Where will I study?
We’re based in the North, so our apprentices’ degree courses are all in the North too — in Manchester, Liverpool or Leeds.
What’s it like to be an apprentice?
I should probably let one of our apprentices answer that for themselves. Not so long ago, we spoke to Joe Lamb, who was one of our quantity surveying apprentices.
You might like to know he’s now a permanent quantity surveyor with us.
What’s it like to be an apprentice at Walker Sime?
It’s inspiring. It’s hands-on. And it’s never just a job. We provide a platform for aspiring professionals to thrive and make a real impact in the world of construction. As an apprentice, you’ll be immersed in a collaborative and innovative environment, gaining serious experience while working alongside industry experts on exciting projects.
Alysia Rigg is a trainee project manager at Walker Sime and Leighton Le Carpentier is an apprentice quantity surveyor. Here, they talk about the skills they have developed and why they chose to do their apprenticeship with us.
Becoming an apprentice with us is just the start of a journey of learning. With our help, you’ll gain professional accreditations that boost your skillset and your earning power. In time, your skills and perspective could be helping to shape not just your career and our business, but the landscape around us all.
Sound like an industry you’d like to be a part of? Let’s have a chat about doing some work experience with us, so you can find out if it’s the right role for you. Please get in touch with me at email@example.com