Case Study: Charlie Headdock
To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we’ve been talking to a number of apprentices about their roles, what a typical day looks like and their top advice for those considering an apprenticeship.
Feeling inspired? Then find out more about careers with ENGIE here.
Today we’re speaking to Charlie Headdock, a Trainee Quantity Surveyor.
What does a typical day in your role look like?
My role involves managing subcontractor accounts - assessing valuations, completing payments, contract disputes and assessing quotes & cost comparisons. I also have to present values to senior management, place orders with subcontractors and liaise with the client and other associated parties.
How did you get here?
At the age of 14 I started working for my Dad's construction company part-time at the weekend and during school holidays. This involved everything from assisting the operatives on site to supporting the commercial department. After experiencing many aspects of the industry in this role, I decided to pursue a career in quantity surveying. After studying at college I applied for the placement with ENGIE in London and I have been working here for the past year and a half, which I am enjoying thoroughly.
Why should someone be excited about starting a career in construction?
Within ENGIE’s regeneration sector there are various departments that are suited to numerous types of individuals. This can range from someone with a creative personality, who will be getting involved within designing elements of a project, to a person who thrives in a more hands on environment which can be accessed through site management. The construction industry is always developing and changing, therefore two projects will never be the same which means you will be continuously expanding your knowledge.
What are the most important skills and abilities required in your role?
Ability to negotiate, attention to detail, numeracy, team-working, I.T literacy, relationship building and interpersonal skills.
What is your proudest moment at work?
Winning ENGIE's Apprentice of the Year in 2018.
How do you think your role may change in the future?
With advancements in technology, quantity surveying will only become more digitalised, therefore it is important to keep up to date with the latest technology. In my role specifically, as I become more experienced I will be delegated greater responsibilities. This will mean taking over larger value accounts until the point I will be ready to manage my own projects.
How have ENGIE’s career development opportunities benefited you?
I have been provided with additional tasks on top of my university and day to day workload which has helped me understand the importance of time management, organisation and teamwork. This can be applied to more difficult or time constrained exercises, which helps optimise efficiency when completing such endeavours.
What do you like the most about working for ENGIE?
ENGIE’s Learning & Development Manager provides support to all the apprentices, which is extremely useful when you have any queries or wish to attend additional training courses and schemes.
What is the most important piece of advice you have ever been given?
Listen to the advice others share with you. People's experiences will help you understand the most appropriate actions to take when faced with difficult situations.
Have you any general advice on how to build a career plan?
Have realistic, time bound objectives of what you want to achieve. Having an idea of what you want to achieve in one, two or three year’s time will allow you to clearly plan how you will get to the position you want. Discuss this with your line manager so they are aware of your goals and they will assist where necessary to support in the process.
What advice do you have for new apprentices?
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Not only will it will aid in developing your understanding of the task at hand but you’ll also show a willingness to learn.