16 Dec Career Story – Marc Symons (Assistant Quantity Surveyor)
Assistant Quantity Surveyor, Marc Symons, based in our WWA Truro office, shares his career story:
How did you get into Construction?
Growing up I was always unsure of what I wanted to do; changing my mind on a weekly basis from wanting to be a teacher to looking at joining the forces. My dad is a self-employed builder and I started labouring for him during some summer holidays from School/College, which first sparked my interest in the Construction Industry. Secondly, during my teens we had a large extension built to our house and I found myself increasingly intrigued as to how a structure could take form from a set of initial drawings/plans to a complete liveable space. Leaving school I attended Truro College, achieving A Levels in Business Studies, Geography and Sociology. Initially I did not want to go to University full time, I wanted to become a Trainee Quantity Surveyor instead; however it was 2 years before an opportunity arose for me so for a couple of years after leaving college I worked as a manager of a fish and chip shop before starting my apprenticeship at Ward Williams in May 2010.
What’s the day job?
My current position is an Assistant Quantity Surveyor at Ward Williams Associates, based in Truro. Currently I am involved with the Green Build Hub and Higher Newham Farm projects undertaking the QS role. In addition I am involved with other projects taking on varying roles, however the two projects identified are where I expend the majority of my core hours. Pre-contract wise I am involved in composing many estimates and cost plans on a weekly basis and also work alongside our in-house Building Surveyors to compose Fire Reinstatement Valuations.
Why should young people go into construction?
The construction Industry is the type of industry which will be ever present and ever growing in most countries worldwide. You meet many people from many backgrounds in each project you become involved in and essentially learn to work with each of them as a team. People who work within the construction industry often enjoy the variance of projects, for example you could be constructing a school, offices, shops, warehouses or even stadiums. There are many roles within the industry, each of which often have good opportunities through apprenticeships and training schemes.
What are your views on the Hot Topics in Construction?
Based on experience so far; it seems ever increasing that the way forward into a construction consultancy is by means of an apprenticeships or training schemes. You benefit through on the job training and learning each role within ‘real life’ scenarios and environments, and your employer benefits from your knowledge progressing, not just of the industry but of the company’s particular method of working.
Through Government schemes/incentives, certification methods (BREEAM & CfSH) & a general change in people’s perceptions towards sustainability and technologies; it is more and more likely that all professionals within the industry (certainly younger members) will encounter new innovative technologies and sustainability principals, therefore it is imperative that all professionals are given the necessary training to work with new ideologies, methods of working and ‘tools’.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I am currently in my second year studying a BSc in Quantity Surveying; in the near future I would like to successfully progress and achieve my degree qualification. Further from this I would like to undertake my APC to gain chartered status and become a member of the RICS.
In addition to Quantity Surveying; I would love to become involved in Project Management, working on a number of projects through many sectors of the industry. I am currently working in Cornwall; so at some point I would also be open to experiencing life living and working in a city.