Aaron Bubb is one of a number of apprentices working at Snape Contracting. To give a snapshot of how apprenticeships works at Snape Contracting, we took five minutes out for a quick Q&A with Aaron. It was an opportune time to chat with him because it was the day before his HNC graduation ceremony and the last day of him being an apprentice!
Q. So Aaron, where did you go to school and when did you first consider a career in construction?
A. I went to school just down the road in Tewkesbury where I studied GCSEs and then A-Levels. I left 6th Form after successfully studying three subject; product design & resistant materials, sociology and geography. I had always thought I'd like to have a career in the Royal Air Force and I devoted much time and effort in exploring this as a career. I actually went for selection, but it wasn't for me. With things 'up in the air' (pardon the pun!), I had a rethink and embarked on a career in construction, initially with Morgan Sindall. I worked at the company for nearly three years as an administrator. This really whet my appetite for the future possibilities of a career in construction.
On reflection, I wished more was conveyed about construction in school. My careers guidance was superficial and just didn't really portray construction as well as it could have. I had not appreciated the buzz that is created by the technical challenges and problem solving that need to be addressed every day.
Q. How did you hear about Snape Contracting and when did you join the company?
A. That's an interesting question. I heard about Snape from a few different sources. Firstly, I was aware of Snape operating in the capacity of a sub-contractor to Morgan Sindall. Unbeknown to me at the time, I also had a good friend, Andy Smith, who, was and still is, a QS with Snape Contracting. I joined Snape in February 2016 after hearing about an apprenticeship opportunity. and have been with the company for nearly three years.
Q. How have you managed to balance study with work commitments?
A. Snape Contracting has been incredibly supportive. Although there is nothing like a 'typical week', there was some structure with the apprenticeship which was good. I attended Gloucestershire College for one day each week to study my 'HNC in Construction & The Built Environment'. I then allocated between one and two hours each evening to study. Besides the obvious support from academics, I was lucky enough to be able to call on the knowledge and expertise of Contracts Managers and a senior QS at Snape. This support was much appreciated and allowed me to apply real-life scenarios and examples to areas I was studying.
Q. What does a typical week look like?
A. Snape Contracting has been really supportive and appreciative of my need to balance work and study. The variety of work I see is fantastic. One side of business is involved with reactive works and this means there is a fast paced variety of work that changes from week to week. The contracts side of the business sees me looking at larger projects, but across an interesting range of sectors, including education and commercial, which I particularly enjoy.
A typical week sees me getting up early and heading to the gym on the way to work. It is a great way to focus the mind and get ready for work. I get into work fairly early!...before 8am. I have one day a week at college and then try and dedicate Saturday to spending time with friends and family and also playing rugby. Sunday is usually a day of rest, recovering from Saturday and thinking about the week ahead. I always tried not to study on a Sunday and keep the weekend clear for myself. Whilst this wasn't always possible when studying, I was always in control of my time and if I needed to work on a Sunday, I knew it would help me towards my goal of achieving my qualifications.
Q. What opportunities are there for growth and career development?
A. Since I joined Snape Contracting, the business has grown year-on-year. The size and quantity of contracts have increased and the QS department has become far more busy than ever. The business is currently investing in more staff in the QS department and with this comes the opportunity for me to progress my career. I am keen to pursue a RICS QS Foundation Course to reinforce my learnings so far and am reassured there is a commitment to training for all from the business.