Student provides insight into work experience with United Living
Students from schools and colleges in Kent and London were given a week of work experience 8th-12th April with national contractor United Living.
The week aimed to inform the next generation of talent of the exciting and diverse careers available and to encourage new talent into the industry.
One of the students who took part was Sami Ahmed, who has wrote a blog detailing his experience with United Living. This detailed and insightful account can be viewed in full below.
“Two weeks ago, my mum approached me asking if I would enjoy a one week work experience at a construction company called ‘United Living’ and I, with some hesitation, agreed. There was hesitation because I had no prior knowledge or experience of the world of construction. I didn’t know what to expect and I had many preconceived ideas of construction which were based on what I had seen and heard from people who didn’t really know much about the sector. I came with a view that construction wasn’t for me. My misconceptions were that everyone always wore hard hats, gloves and a high vis jacket but quickly found out that this was not the case! I also learnt people are well paid and there are lots of opportunities available.
“The induction started with learning about United Living and I learnt from the Finance presentation that you have to be good with Excel and I also learnt that United Living is a growing company. During the afternoon, I learnt about United Living values and that degree apprenticeships don’t lead to student debt and they are available in many areas, something that my school hasn’t taught me yet. Throughout the week there were many things that surprised and shocked me about this sector. For example the strenuous process of how the bid team works and the arduous process of what they go through from the submitting of the contract at a strict time, to the time when they worked from 6am to 6pm the next day. Another surprising factor in the world of construction was the importance on social values and the legislation of them and how they affect a contract or a sum of money being written up. I also learnt about the managing of people by people services and the importance placed on employee well-being and learning and development.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the plethora of contrasting cultures and diversities on show and the great open mindedness between employees. Furthermore, I loved the experience of visiting different sites including both refurbs and new builds, seeing the long process in not only securing the project but the roles of the quantity surveyors, design management, project managers and construction site managers. On several occasions, they would visit different sites and were flexible when travelling to sites as you have to go where the work is. It was an insightful and enjoyable week. Perhaps more site visits would’ve added a more practical side but overall it was an extremely eye opening week and one that I would highly recommend to other young people. There’s something for everyone in construction, it’s not just about hard hats and high vis jackets!”