Winvic News

BLOG: Lucy says her First Taste of Construction as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor has been Very Exciting

Posted on January 19, 2024 in A year in industry - 2023-2024

We hope you’ve been enjoying reading about our 2023/4 Year In Industry (YII) cohort who are all on Commercial and Operations placements and this year there are ten students. Lucy who is a Trainee Quantity Surveyor is next to share her hands on experiences in her year out from a BSc in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management at Loughborough University.  

When searching for a placement, Lucy came across the Winvic blog – which is full of stories from previous YII students and Winvic team members – so it was a bit strange for her to become the star of an interview! However, as you’ll read below, her answers really paint a picture of the tasks she’s responsible for and how she’s been supported every step of the way.


What projects have you been working on?

During my first week I visited a variety of sites to gain exposure to the different sectors. These included a 2.2 million sq ft industrial warehouse at Peddimore, which was close to completion and West Midlands Interchange, a civils and infrastructure project that was about to commence. It is a 734-acre site, and the works will facilitate a new Strategic Rail Freight Terminal (SRFI) and 8 million sq ft of industrial space.

Since August I have been based at Kent Steet Baths in Birmingham, a 406-bed build-to-rent scheme complete with over 15,000 sq ft of retail space, a large outdoor amenity space and underground residential parking. It couldn’t be a better project for me to begin my construction career, as there is such a wide variety of works taking place each day, making my first taste of the industry very exciting. The biggest challenge I have faced is going from walking across the university campus to commuting an hour and a half each way, but the team is understanding and accommodating when the trains aren’t running to schedule.

How did you come across Winvic and what made you choose us?

I initially came across Winvic when applying for Quantity Surveying Apprenticeships and it was easy to see they offer great opportunities to young people to help them get a head start in their construction careers. I watched all the placement videos and read all the blogs so it’s a bit strange to know I’m the subject of a Winvic blog! In the end I decided to undertake a degree and met members of the Winvic team at a Loughborough University careers fair, including one of last year’s Year In Industry students, James, who was on a Commercial Placement. Speaking with James only cemented my opinion of Winvic, because he couldn’t speak highly enough about his experience. I applied for different placements, but there really was only one company I wanted to work for, and I couldn’t wait to get started when I heard I’d been successful. It’s reassuring to know that Winvic rewards hard work and wants to train, support, and develop new careers – I’m so grateful for the introduction I have had to the industry.

What responsibilities have you had in the last 5 months?

One of the main reasons I’m enjoying my placement so much is because of the responsibilities I’ve been given. Day-to-day I meet with subcontract partners in review meetings to discuss costs, resolve challenges related to production and help to keep variations to a minimum. I also liaise with subcontractors to gain quotes, package details and to issue orders that I have created. The end of the month is an important time and I have been helping to manage a selection of subcontractors, which means formulating their interim payments and valuing their completed works and any variations that have been agreed against the work that they are invoicing for. I have helped Alex to physically measure completed works out on site and carry out the client valuations.

It makes me very proud that Lee and Alex trust me to carry out tasks on my own and I believe I’ve learned much faster this way. Aside from work on site, I have returned to Loughborough University to speak to students at the Architecture and Engineering careers fairs about the opportunities available at Winvic and what their futures could look like.

What has been your best day on site so far?

I wouldn’t say that one day in particular stands out because every day on site has been so valuable and there really are no two days the same. Being a part of this team makes working easy and enjoyable – day in, day out. I enjoy being challenged by the depth of work in the office and physically being out on site. I want to get as much hands on experience as possible as I know this way of learning will complement my academic studies when I return to university.

What’s it like being part of the Winvic team?

Since my first day I have felt nothing but welcome and I settled into the team very quickly. I couldn’t imagine working with better people and the Project Manager Ross, Senior QS Lee, and Intermediate QS Alex have made my placement so enjoyable. No question is too small or too silly to ask, and everyone goes out of their way to help no matter the size of the problem. Being a woman in a male dominated industry was a bit nerve wracking and I wondered if I wouldn’t be taken seriously, especially being a placement student. It seems silly to say this now as I’ve found that women are completely respected and there hasn’t been a single person who hasn’t wanted to support me. I hope that I’ll be able to provide the same support to others throughout my career.

The Winvic Way

The Winvic Way means challenging ourselves to constantly improve our service and our processes in order to deliver competitive advantage for our clients.

Winvic has provided multidisciplinary construction services on a national scale since 2001, and ever since has been fostering relationships with a growing list of public and private sector clients. Known for forging pioneering schemes, excelling across all sectors, and affording flexibility to developers and occupiers alike, Winvic has been built on foundations where expectations are exceeded.

Widely known as the UK’s leading industrial ‘shed specialist’, our expertise spans many areas; civils and infrastructure, build-to-rent, student accommodation, office and commercial, fit out works and specialist sustainable builds, including the fulfilment of turnkey project requirements. Our open approach to schemes of any size allows us to be flexible, we have an enviable record of project delivery and we are committed to delivering an ever improving quality of service and product, responsibly, ethically and safely. That’s just the Winvic Way.

Interested to know more?