4th February 2021

Trainee Quantity Surveyor Masters His Trade at Axis

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Trainee Quantity Surveyor Leslie Crabbe masters his trade working full time with experts on-site at Axis. Meanwhile he is also studying for a Masters at Northumbria University (distance learning).

Leslie had already worked in many jobs and obtained a BA Hons in Business Management, so has plenty of experience studying as well as working in a job – but not necessarily at the same time! In fact, he says one of the greatest challenges has been balancing the demands of site work with university studies.

What were you doing before you joined Axis?

I had been working for local government as a housing benefits assessment officer for several years, working out how much claimants were entitled to in housing benefits. But I wanted to find a career that would bring greater enjoyment and fulfilment to my life.

What other work experiences do you have?

I started my working life working in a retail shop which enabled me to become confident when talking to people from all walks of life. After completing my BA Hons I worked at an investment bank that taught me how to work hard and be determined to reach my goals.

What made you switch careers to become an Axis Trainee Quantity Surveyor?

While researching a career change, I also took advice from family and friends. I decided I wanted to be in an industry where I dealt with numbers and can be out of the office once in a while which the QS’s role ticks.

And what made you want to continue studying to obtain a Masters degree?

I felt doing a conversion course of Quantity Surveying would be beneficial for me, as I always have a thirst to learn new things. I believed that doing a Masters would be a quicker way of gaining my qualification as a Quantity Surveyor in two years, rather than doing an apprenticeship for five years. However, nothing beats on-the-job learning you get as a trainee. That work-life experience is something you can never buy.

How have you found studying and working full time?

My biggest challenge for me is balancing my schedule. Working full-time and studying  has been very difficult. Managing university assignments and site work has been challenging. However, I have enjoyed every moment of it: I don’t see any of it as work as I love it.

What are the benefits of working full time and continuing your studies?

The benefit of working full-time is that you gain knowledge and experience which is priceless in our industry. But also, while studying, you are able to gain help from your colleagues who have been in the same scenario as you.

How did you hear about Axis?

I heard about Axis through friends and family who work in the construction industry and who told me Axis is a company that invest in their staff.

What were your first impressions of Axis when you arrived?

When I first arrived at Axis, the first thing that touched me was that it’s a family orientated company that demands you respect each other and are always  honest and true to yourself. It is a place where you are able to share your views and ideas. They are advocates of pushing their staff to great heights which I love.

What guidance and support have you had whilst working at Axis to help you on your path?

I have got so much support, everyone encouraging me to reach standards I did not think I could reach. The belief that senior management has in me has enabled me to become very confident in my everyday duties and exceed in my line of work.

What are your aims and ambitions when you have obtained your qualification?

When I have obtained my Masters qualification, my next objective is to master my trade before I start climbing up the ladder to be a commercial manager and so on.

Any TOP TIPS for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Axis is a family and they are here to help you – they want you to succeed. Always give 100%, don’t shy from hard work and, finally, enjoy what you do! There is no limit to what you can achieve if you love what you do.

Anything on a personal note to inspire others?

It’s hard to put in words how I feel about working at Axis. When footballers say they have the dream job, this is how I feel being a Quantity Surveyor at Axis. It does not feel like work when you enjoy what you do so much. Some people would think I’m a bit crazy, the amount of enjoyment I get out of it.

Find more stories about our Apprentices here.

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