Meet Grace Howell
Grace Howell is a trainee quantity surveyor, working for Laing O’Rourke at our Everton project. She started the professional apprenticeship programme in 2022. Read about her experience with Laing O'Rourke so far.
University: University of Salford
Degree: Quantity surveying
Job title: Trainee quantity surveyor
Project: Everton Stadium Football Club
Give us a brief overview of your day to day responsibilities.
Some of my daily responsibilities include the assessment of sub-contractor variations using several different sources of information such as drawings, schedules and daywork sheets. Issuing sub-contractor instructions ensuring I understand the entitlement for change.
On a monthly basis I have to value the contract works of each sub-contractor so they are paid fairly. I also have to provide cost information into the EFC, so a robust cost including allowances for future change are carried forward by our commercial Manager.
What are your key achievements/highlights to date?
There has been a number of highlights since joining Laing O’Rourke, but the key one for me is being part of a project team who are supportive and always willing to help me achieve my goals.
I also really enjoyed the induction to the professional apprentice programme in our head office in Dartford. It was great to meet the other apprentices and build relationships with people in the same situation as me.
Finally one of my biggest achievements is passing all assignments and online exams at university.
What attracted you to the industry?
The construction industry offers many different career opportunities, including the potential to take my skills abroad so this was a big benefit for me.
I also like the fact that the stereotypes are changing and the industry is trying to recruit more women. This makes me feel confident that the gender gap will soon be the smallest it's ever been.
What drew you to apply for your role at LOR?
It was clear to me that Laing O’Rourke is trying to make a difference in the industry, working towards being more sustainable and recruiting more women into the business, which I really like. I was drawn to the opportunity of being able to work in the Australia hub, that is something that appeals to me. I was also impressed by the benefits offered.
Do you have any hints and tips for the recruitment process?
Research is key - know why you want to work for Laing O’Rourke and the current projects they have.
Be confident but know your limits.
Try and incorporate past experience into your answers.
At the assessment centre include all team members in discussions, try and take some lead but be careful not to take control so others don't have a chance.
What advice would you give to students looking for a professional apprentice role?
Go for it - apprenticeships are hard to find, they won't all suit you or your needs but the more you research and look for different opportunities they more you will be offered, so the hard work will pay off.
Speak to college or school if you need help with any of the processes or interview preparation, they can be daunting but the more you apply for the more experience you get - practice makes perfect.