Niall O’Shea (Trainee Quantity Surveyor)


Heathrow Shared Apprenticeship Scheme: Wingate Electrical

Our case study series will shine a spotlight on some of the Apprentices currently working through their placements on the Heathrow Shared Apprenticeship Scheme. The Scheme brings together Heathrow’s major construction companies, and offers Apprentices the opportunity to work across several disciplines on a range of exciting Heathrow projects and gain nationally recognised qualifications at the same time.

Niall O’Shea, Quantity Surveying Apprentice, Hosted by Dyer & Butler.

Meet Niall

Before joining the scheme, Niall had been working in administration for the NHS whilst looking for a route into Quantity Surveying. He found it tough to enter into the industry before applying to K10, as most companies wanted someone with experience. another employer not least because of the time of year – Christmas/New Year period is notoriously challenging for finding new Niall knew this was the path for him since before leaving school and is glad that K10 provide an opportunity for entry level Quantity Surveyors. “I have really enjoyed the start to my quantity surveying career, it is a new challenge and I have enjoyed learning new things every day as not every day is the same.”

Niall’s Apprenticeship

Niall started his apprenticeship at Heathrow with Morgan Sindall, working on projects across the terminals. This was until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and as a result Niall lost his placement. Since January 2021, Niall has been working for Dyer & Butler, covering a wide variety of surveying work such as; final account payments, payment certs, cost planning, cash flow and valuations. Niall is pleased that he has been exposed to different and complex areas of the role in such a short space of time. “I have enjoyed every day since starting with Dyer & Butler and can see the trust they have put in me, I also have a clear path for my progression and look forward to taking on more responsibility.” & “There is nothing I would change about my apprenticeship journey so far”.

Niall’s vocational qualifications are being delivered by Westminster Kingsway College, where he is enrolled on the NVQ Level 3 Surveying Technician Apprenticeship. He is learning all aspects of surveying work and how a quantity surveyor in the industry operates, some of which he is able to apply in his current role already, while also setting up his future development in the industry. He enjoys meeting with his assessor regularly and advises future Apprentices that “I enjoy learning about construction in general as it is key for my future. As soon as you find a role you want to do, find an entry level position and the people within the company and college will always help you”.

Niall’s host employer: Dyer & Butler

Dyer & Butler have continued to work throughout the pandemic and lockdown, despite a reduced scale at Heathrow Airport. Many of their projects across the terminals were put on hold for substantial periods of time, despite this they have been outstanding in helping accommodate the Heathrow Shared Apprenticeship Scheme. Niall’s’ line manager had the below to say about his progress since joining the company:

“Over the last 6 months of working with Niall, Niall has adapted very well to not only adjusting to working for a new company but also having to dramatically adapt to the current working conditions that the COVID 19 Pandemic has brought upon us, this has included not only the change of WFH but having to change the structure within our team quite frequent due to the furlough scheme and the down turn within the Aviation Sector.

Niall has actively been supporting and assisting myself and the team to close out jobs that have been put on hold/stopped due to the pandemic, as well as settle Subcontract Final Accounts and Payments including Pay Certs. Niall has also successfully assisted in the transition of Dyer and Butler introducing new methods and processes/procedures that have been introduced by our Group. Now that this is coming to an end Niall will shortly (in the next two/three weeks) be teaming up with one of our SQS (Sane) to assist her in running a larger project scheme that will aide Niall to have input in a “Live project” from Start to finish giving Niall exposure to Cost Planning, Cash Flow, Valuations and the day to day running of an NEC Contract.” – Claire Soden, Managing Quantity Surveyor

What’s next for Niall?

“I would like to be qualified to a university standard eventually” Niall continues to enjoy his career in the construction industry and plans to remain in the field, hoping to find an employer that will allow him day release with a university, in order to get qualified.

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