From education to employment

14-month construction placement brings quantity surveying to life for Bristol student

Local student Charlie Yellow is well on his way to becoming a quantity surveyor after landing a 14-month construction placement with top regional construction company Beard in Bristol.

Twenty-three-year-old Charlie, who is studying for a BSc (Hons) degree in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management with Oxford Brookes University, is working with Beard between his second and third years of university study. During his placement, he will be helping the construction firm deliver the new Charlton Wood Primary Academy in Charlton Hayes as it progresses from the preliminary design stage to project construction and handover.

Charlie found out about the placement when Beard gave a talk at his university: “I chose Beard because of the training they offered and the type of projects they take on,” he says. “I also have some friends who worked for Beard the year before. They really enjoyed it and learnt a lot, so this cemented my choice.

“During my placement, I’ll have the chance to work in project management, site management and quantity surveying which will give me a better understanding of the range of roles in the sector.”

Building a future for construction

Construction is one of the UK’s largest industries and employs around 2.2 million people. But the industry faces a rapidly ageing population with huge levels of retirement over the coming years and fewer new entrants.

Charlie, who will finish his placement in September next year, hopes to use the knowledge he’ll learn at Beard to work his way up through to managerial roles in the construction sector.

“Industry placements are important because you learn things that you wouldn’t in a university lecture,” he says. “Only a hands-on experience of dealing with a real-world scenario will really prepare you for the job. My experience so far at Beard has been great. Everyone is always happy to give you a hand regardless of how busy they are or their position in the company.”

Construction is one of the UK’s largest industries and employs around 2.2 million people. But the industry faces a huge labour shortage due to a rapidly ageing population and fewer new entrants. The Chartered Institute of Building reports that 157,000 new recruits will be needed by 2021 just to keep up with current demand.

“Beard has provided structured construction training schemes for graduates for many years,” says Mike Hedges, Beard regional director. “As a family-owned business, we strongly believe in providing hands-on work experience for students like Charlie who are interested in pursuing construction careers. Not only do placements give students the opportunity to get a feel for our industry and the many exciting and diverse careers it offers, they also help us attract the next generation of talented people into our business and the wider construction industry which faces a critical skills shortage and needs to recruit 52,300 people annually over the next three years.”

Beard offers a range of training opportunities, such as industry placement years for undergraduates, which through hands-on experience with real construction teams on real projects, aims to help young people become confident and capable construction workers for the future.

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