A trainee quantity surveyor who joined Bellway straight from school has been highly commended in the housebuilder’s annual Apprentice of the Year awards.
Louise Atkin is based at the developer’s North East divisional HQ in Gateshead and was nominated for the prize by her line manager and another colleague who praised her professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm for the job.
The 20-year-old, who lives in Newcastle, said: “I was shocked but also pleased when I was told that I had been highly commended in the awards. It feels good because it means that I must be doing something right.”
Louise knew she wanted to pursue a career as a quantity surveyor with Bellway after a week’s work experience with the company while she was still at school.
“I did work experience when I was 17 and I spent most of my time with the quantity surveying team at the Gateshead office and I loved it,” she said. “I knew after those five days that I wanted to be a quantity surveyor and I wanted to work for Bellway. Now, I am working for Bellway in the very same office.”
Louise joined Bellway in September 2020 on a five-year chartered quantity surveying degree apprenticeship.
“Going to university did not appeal to me as I did not want to be saddled with a debt, so the apprenticeship scheme is perfect,” she said. “I wanted a job where I could earn a wage while I was being trained at the same time. I think this apprenticeship gives me a jump start in my career and has given me a defined progression path in the industry, which should see me gain a degree and qualify as a chartered quantity surveyor.
“I work four days a week in the office or out at North East sites and on the other day I study at Northumbria University. I feel lucky to have this variation in my working week and enjoy all aspects of my learning.
“I feel I have l gained so much knowledge and so many new skills in the time I have been at Bellway. I am now the quantity surveyor responsible for the running of two sites – Woodgreen in Blyth, where construction is nearing completion, and Burdon Rise in Sunderland. This means I am responsible for controlling the budget for the sites.
“At those sites, all the costs go through me and I consult with suppliers and sub-contractors with regard to prices. It was a real landmark moment for me when I presented my first three-month site valuation to the commercial director, the finance director and the managing director and having done that has given me so much faith in my own ability.
“I get a lot of support from my colleagues and it is good to know that Ryan Lincoln, the commercial and technical director at Bellway North East, is always available for any advice or help I might need. Like me, he started his career in the construction industry as a trainee quantity surveyor, so he knows exactly what I am going through.”
Louise is to receive a trophy and £250 as part of her award.
“I think I will keep the trophy on my desk at work and I will use the money to go towards a £500 pair of Apple headphones for the gym,” said Louise. “I have held off buying the headphones because they are expensive, but this money effectively makes them half price.”
Ryan Lincoln, Commercial and Technical Director at Bellway North East, said: “We are delighted to have Louise on board as a member of the quantity surveying team. She has proved herself to be hard-working and conscientious and relishes the challenge of the job.
“The way that she has handled the workload of running two sites on her own is very impressive indeed. Louise is not phased by any aspect of the job and it is clear to see that she has a very bright future here at Bellway.”
For more information about careers at Bellway visit our careers page