Oliver is studying at Nottingham Trent University while also working for construction company Lindum Group in North Hykeham
He will graduate with a BSc in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management
This week is the 17th annual National Apprenticeship Week
Stepping on to the construction career ladder doesn’t have to mean foregoing higher education, thanks to the wide range of degree level apprenticeships on offer in the building industry.
Lindum Group assistant quantity surveyor Oliver Pallett has spent five years attending classes at Nottingham Trent University one day every week. For the rest of the time, he’s been gaining practical experience working alongside a team of construction professionals managing costs on projects from £1000 to £300,000.
Oliver, who is due to graduate in May, has shared his experience of earning while he’s learning as part of National Apprenticeship Week, which is taking place this week.
He said he believes there is no better way to start your career than through a high level apprenticeship.
He said: “It is definitely worth doing the apprenticeship over going to university full time. In my opinion, it is the best way to get qualified. You get so much more out of the experience than you would on a conventional course, and it sets you up well for graduating. For one, you get to work whilst you study, which means you can be earning a salary and not have to worry about trying to find a part time job to support yourself through university.
“I have also been gaining valuable work experience throughout my course, which would otherwise have been impossible to achieve on a traditional university course. When I graduate, I will be able to say that I have five years’ work experience, whereas those at university will be just starting out. The degree apprenticeship also allows you to get chartered and the course offers support for this.”
However, Oliver did advise that, due to the length of the courses, it is important that you know what you want to do and stick with it. He said: “You have to make sure you are studying for a career you are sure you want to commit to. If you get three years down the line of a degree apprenticeship and decide it isn’t for you, you come away with nothing, which isn’t the case for a traditional course as they only run for three years, compared to the five of a degree apprenticeship.”
Freddie Chambers, Lindum Group Managing Director, said: “Degree level apprenticeships are important to help us to fill roles that are becoming harder to recruit for.
“By taking people on and training them up early, we can help to support the development of the next generation of technically skilled people, such as quantity surveyors and estimators, whilst also future proofing our workforce.”
Oliver’s journey to construction
Oliver started out in the construction industry through a conversation with a friend during his time studying another course at college. Having not enjoyed his studies so far, he decided to take up an apprenticeship in construction in the built environment. From shadowing various people in the industry, he found an interest in surveying.
Deciding to pursue this as a career, he applied for a degree apprenticeship in quantity surveying and commercial management when he had finished his previous studies.
Since then, Oliver has been working on a variety of projects, including a £270,000 children’s home, various small works schemes for Longhurst Group, and void refurbishment works across 32 homes for City of Lincoln Council.
What is a degree apprenticeship?
A degree apprenticeship enables you to gain a full undergraduate or master’s degree while you work.
Degree apprentices will work part time alongside studying part time at university, with an average of 80 per cent work and 20 per cent study.
The courses will take between three to six years to complete, with some lasting longer depending on the level of qualification.
For information on Lindum apprenticeships click here.
For more information on degree apprenticeships visit: https://www.ucas.com/apprenticeships/degree-apprenticeships