My trainee management scheme by Louis Mills
Our Trainee Management Scheme is a wonderful opportunity not just for the candidates, who get hands-on experience in the industry, but for employers, like Countryside, who benefit from the diverse mix of colleagues working together in offices and on development sites.
Louis Mills, 23, Trainee Quantity Surveyor at Countryside, says Countryside's Trainee Management Scheme has changed his career plans.
When I left school, I was adamant I didn't want to go to university. I started work as an estate agent, which I enjoyed but knew I wanted to learn more about the development side of the housing industry.
I applied to join the Countryside Trainee Management Scheme as a quantity surveyor and was so lucky to be given a place.
I became a trainee quantity surveyor last year, which is a two-year course. It's an amazing opportunity as I get to work side by side with very experienced people. Although they are often very busy, everyone always has time for me and helps me to learn and understand new areas. It's a very professional office but warm and friendly, too.
I thought housebuilding would be a very male dominated environment but it's great to see a lot of women here, including female site managers and quantity surveyors - which is how it should be.
In the office or on the site, it's easy to see how everyone has to work as a team to make the projects a success. It's a great feeling knowing you have played a part in something so big.
I really enjoy the industry as a whole and being here has sparked my ambition. I want to learn as much as possible. Having previously dismissed the idea, I'm now really keen to go to university after my apprenticeship to give me more possibilities in this career path. I would hope to come back to Countryside with even more knowledge about quantity surveying. I want to have a mix of learning practicalities on the job, as well as academic understanding from university.
I'd encourage other young people, or people of any age, to apply for an apprenticeship. I was already working but saw this as a great opportunity and it has been. It's hard work but rewarding. There is great career progression and I feel as though I am learning so much every week. It's a good working mix with graduates, apprentices, and colleagues with decades of experience working together.
More industries should invest in apprentice schemes. Being part of the Countryside Trainee Management Scheme has really opened my eyes to what I can achieve and is making me want to be the best I can be. I hope we're the future of the industry.