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2022 It’s back to Uni for Gleeds’ emerging talent group as they share their experiences of working in construction

Most graduates starting their careers in their chosen fields, would not expect to be lecturing on the subject less than two years later, but for two Gleeds junior staff members that is exactly what happened, thanks to an invitation from the University of South Wales. 

Graduate Quantity Surveyor Darcie Walbrook and Apprentice Quantity Surveyor Luke Sullivan gave a lecture to final year students to tell them about their experiences of working for a consultancy such as Gleeds, as well as working the construction industry generally.

Darcie and Luke are members of Gleed’s Emerging Talent Group (ETG), which brings junior staff members from construction consultancy firms together to collaborate, learn and network in order to nurture those future leaders, as well as collaborate with their peers and those in other disciplines within the sector. 

Darcie and Luke discussed multiple aspects of Quantity Surveying from Tender and Procurement to Quantification and Cost Planning with the final year students following an invitation by course leader Darryl Morgan.

Darryl explained: “Darcie and Luke got in touch to offer to support one of our final year Quantity Surveying modules, as they believe support like this would have helped them during their studies.  The presentation they gave was engaging, professional and the use of current and past projects not only gave an insight into the industry but also provided students the opportunity to consolidate knowledge they had learnt in the module. The content delivered was well considered, accurate and stimulating.

“Both Darcie and Luke were excellent examples of enthusiastic, confident, early career professionals. They were approachable and open to students and offered advice regarding academic and professional matters, including routes to chartership and the benefits of professional development.  As academic subject manager for the Built Environment at USW, I’m very much looking forward to welcoming both Darcie and Luke back for future collaborations between Gleeds and USW.”

Darcie, who has been working in the industry for 18 months, talked about the challenges facing those coming into the industry and how to overcome them.

The Liverpool John Moores graduate joined Gleeds during Covid so has really benefitted from the networking and collaboration that the ETG offers: “When I was at university, I attended a careers fair in order to secure a job post-graduation. The one company that stood out to me was Gleeds, as the employee I spoke to was extremely helpful in answering the many burning questions I had and promoted the company and his role in such a positive light, it only inspired me to get a job with Gleeds.

“So, when I came to Gleeds, one of my goals was to create long lasting relationships with local universities in order to promote the industry and help answer any questions that students/aspiring QS’ might have.

“I talked about the RICS APC and routes to become a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and explained I am currently enrolled as a candidate, so I was able to shed some light onto the various requirements of the APC. I also explained projects we are currently working on in our local Cardiff office and we had multiple students enquire with us about potential graduate roles within Gleeds.”

Luke is working in Gleeds’ Cardiff office alongside studying his degree in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management at USW. He has been working in industry for three and a half years.

Justin Moore, from Gleeds, who devised the ETG, says it’s fantastic to see such a positive response to the USW talk: “Darcie and Luke were able to give a real insight into the world of work and some sound advice for graduates who are hoping to start a career in construction and construction consultancy.

“This is exactly why we set up the ETG. Due to the skill shortage within construction and construction consultancy, it’s crucial we nurture the young team that we have here in Cardiff, and we hope to do the same across the rest of the Gleeds group to ensure that we attract the best of the best to our ranks.”

Gleeds already has seven team members from its Cardiff office in the talent group and are looking for more to join them at the various events and seminars that will be held over the coming months.