13 Dec My Career Story – Laura Jones (Senior Building Surveyor)
Senior Building Surveyor, Laura Jones, based in the WWA Truro office, shares her career story:
How did you get into Construction?
From an early age, I had always had an interest in buildings and how things were put together. At school, my focus was in the sciences, however, the career options in this area did not seem to suit me. I first realised that a career involving buildings was the right path for me when undertaking work experience at an estate agents at the age of 15. At that time, I particularly enjoyed visiting a range of properties, along with the associated office work. From this I realised I wanted to enter into a career that involved both field based and office work.
What’s the day job?
Each day in the surveying profession is varied. This is another reason, which attracted me to this career. Currently, I am undertaking a range of work including condition surveys of commercial buildings, design and specification of a residential extension, producing expert witness reports and preparing schedules of dilapidations. Alongside this, I am involved with supporting the junior members of the team to assist them with gaining the experience they need when working towards their APC (Assessment of Professional Competence).
Why should young people go into construction?
The construction industry is very dynamic and there is plenty of opportunity to evolve and develop skills to work in many different areas. The industry is also becoming increasingly diverse with opportunities for people to enter the profession from a variety of backgrounds.
The construction industry is also not just about having the technical knowledge but also about having good communication skills. As a Building Surveyor I deal with a variety of people on a daily basis from homeowners, contractors, tenants, structural engineers and lawyers just to name a few. Being able to adapt and deal with this range of people in the correct manner is an important part of my role.
What are your views on the Hot Topics in Construction?
With increasing costs to attend university, there is a risk that the skills shortages in the surveying profession will increase. It is my view that more training through the workplace should become available to provide on-the-job experience whilst working towards academic and professional qualifications. Ward Williams Associates provide this type of training programme which gives trainees a great starting point to their careers.
Women in the construction industry has been a talking point throughout my studies and career. The amount of women in more senior positions has increased during this period, along with the attitude towards women in the industry noticeably improving.
What are your aspirations for the future?
Personally, I am focused on assisting the development of junior members of the team to ensure that they are gaining the most experience out of their work and have the required knowledge and support throughout the APC process. I hope that there will be increasing focus for companies to provide training programmes. I believe that this type of training is most suitable for young people entering the profession due to the practical nature of these roles. I also hope that diversity in the construction industry will continue to increase.