In National Apprenticeship Week, Conor Cruse-Bowles discusses his career journey from apprentice to managing surveyor and offers advice to others thinking of a similar path.
What attracted you to a career in construction / surveying?
A family friend worked in construction and gave me my first job in the industry. I started in project management and then rotated into different roles. It was my interest in financial management that eventually drew me to surveying. The opportunity to manage budgets and ensure best value across construction projects really appealed to me.
In 2014, Diamond Build offered me a trainee role and the chance to complete a two-year HNC in quantity surveying. I then went on to complete a three-year degree in quantity surveying and commercial management at Westminster University.
How important was your apprenticeship in helping you to gain the skills and knowledge that you have today?
Gaining practical experience in the field I was studying was really beneficial. Throughout my apprenticeship, I spent four days a week in the Diamond Build office. This allowed me to experience quantity surveying across a range of projects, starting with smaller local authority refurbishments. I attended University for one day a week, which helped to reinforce everything I’d learned on the job while providing me with additional knowledge on more academic topics such as law.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
I enjoy seeing a project develop from start to finish and knowing that we’ve left a positive stamp on the local community or organisation.
As a quantity surveyor, you gain exposure to lots of difference disciplines, giving you a broad skill set and meaning you work alongside a variety of people while managing diverse challenges; no two days are the same!
Since joining Diamond Build, the business has grown a lot, and this has created opportunities for me to work on larger contracts and keep broadening my skills. Over the past year, most of my work has involved extensions and refurbishments for schools. I’ve been given the chance to prove myself and keep developing my career, leading to a recent promotion to managing surveyor.
What advice would you give to others thinking about an apprenticeship in quantity surveying?
An apprenticeship is a great way to kickstart your career, especially if you’re just coming out of school and have no experience. The practical skills you gain while working for a company is invaluable while the University learning bolsters your knowledge.
Attending University also gives you the chance to meet different people that can help support you. There will be some people on your course just starting out as well and others who have been in the industry for a number of years. This not only provides a great opportunity for networking but sources of advice to help guide you throughout your training.
Diamond Build Group has been offering opportunities to apprentices and trainees for more than four decades and is an Investors in People Gold employer. For further information and current vacancies, please visit: