23rd February 2021

Degree Apprenticeship as Quantity Surveyor

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Axis Apprentice Emily Skipp recently achieved a First Class Honours Quantity Surveying Degree.  She studied and worked on-site throughout her apprenticeship.

Emily Skipp joined Axis in 2016 as a Quantity Surveyor Apprentice. In 2021, she obtained a First Class BSc Hons in Quantity Surveying from London South Bank University. Emily studied part time-time, whilst working as an apprentice at Axis and learning the tools of her trade.

Why choose an apprenticeship? 

“I left school and did not know what I wanted to do in life. I worked in a supermarket for a while. Then I heard about Axis via a member of my family who was working at Credit Suisse, one of Axis’ clients. They told me about the Apprenticeship scheme Axis offers. I did not know about apprenticeships then. I did not know that you could carry on with your education, get new skills and a qualification like a full degree – and earn money whilst working in your chosen career – all at the same time! So I applied to Axis for a Degree Apprenticeship in Quantity Surveying.

And why choose Quantity Surveying?

I chose a degree apprenticeship in Quantity Surveying because I wanted a job to do with numbers. I was always good at maths at school, but I did not want an office-based job, like in Finance.

I love Quantity Surveying because I am dealing with numbers, with budgeting. I was always good at maths. For two to three days a week, I am out on site surveying different buildings. I manage lots of properties

What’s the benefit of studying and working at the same time?

During my five-year apprenticeship, I gained knowledge whilst at university that assisted in my day-to-day work – and vice versa. I got real first hand experience working with the Apprentice Master and all the experts at Axis which helped with my college work.

Biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge was managing my time. Having a full-time job and completing a degree at the same time was difficult, balancing site work with university deadlines. But now, looking back, it was all worth it because obtaining a degree and five years’ work experience is priceless, and something I would recommend to anyone. It was certainly an opportunity I did not want to miss out on.

What’s the job as QS all about?

I love Quantity Surveying because I am dealing with numbers, with budgeting, For two to three days a week, I am out on site meeting people and clients, surveying different buildings. My job is to estimate quantities, costs and time scales for material and labour. I also control costs, submit budgets and advise on maintenance costs too. And the rest of the week I am in the office. So it is a perfect balance. I work on Cyclical Repairs Programmes and manage lots of properties including social housing. I love that I get to go out on site.

Any personal gains?

I have learned so much – gained many skills. One of the main things I have learned is confidence. I was always very shy. That’s one of the main things Axis has given me. A real highlight has been meeting people on the same journey, other apprentices. There are always people to turn to and people who will help you.

So you would recommend an apprenticeship?

I would advise anyone to 100% go for an Degree Apprenticeship! Doing a degree is the best opportunity I have been given. You need to be prepared for the time and effort you will have to invest into a degree but looking at the position I am in now, and the experience/knowledge I have gained, I would recommend a Degree Apprenticeship to anyone who is willing to work hard!

Axis offers endless support – on the job training, mentoring and coaching, Apprentice Breakfasts where you meet the managers so you are always being guided and helped. My Line Manager has always been there for me, every step of my journey.

Next steps?

Now I am fully qualified I will begin my chartership to become a Chartered Surveyor. And I want to continue working and progressing here at Axis. I like our Core Values at Axis  – one of them is Core Value 3 “Train and Develop People, Their Growth Becomes our Growth”: – I guess I am a good example of that as I want to stay working at Axis using my skills to bring value to the business.

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