Javascript is disabled. Please enable Javascript to use this site with full functionality.
Career profiles – trainee quantity surveyor2020-01-10T14:10:36+01:00

Billy Lewis
Trainee quantity surveyor

As Billy waited for his exam results (economics, history, and philosophy and ethics A levels, plus a BTEC in business) he knew he had an offer from Coventry University to study for a degree in economics.

At around the same time, he met two directors from McLaren who suggested he think about an apprenticeship in quantity surveying. He knew nothing about construction, so he took up the offer of a month’s work experience with McLaren.

Education path
SchoolWestcliff Grammar School for Boys (GCSEs)
CollegeKing John Sixth Form – A levels
McLaren sponsored Higher EducationAnglia Ruskin University (Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship in Quantity Surveying)

Billy enjoyed the time he spent at our Lakeside and O2 project sites and decided to take the apprentice route. It will take him to a degree in four years, with automatic enrolment on a RICS Assessment of Professional Competence – after which he can put ‘MRICS’ after his name.

“It makes a lot more sense, if someone’s willing to pay for you to learn and you get work experience on the job and a qualification – without the debt of going to university,” he says.

For his first year, he attends Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford two days a week – it’ll be one day a week for the following three years. The rest of the time, he’s on site. He started off back at the O2 site initially, assisting the team. Moving to the The Otto and Nightingale School in Hackney (a school and a residential block), he was given numerous packages to manage himself, together worth around £1.3 million. He’s enjoying the challenge.


Billy’s apprenticeship is a significant first step in his career in construction and his ambition to get to the top. Every three months, he sits down with his manager to check his progress against the QS tracker, which sets out what he should have achieved at each stage of his apprenticeship.

Balancing his time between work, the university, study and having a social life he admits can be a challenge. But when he compares his apprenticeship to his friends’ experience at university, he says, “It’s better to get a job – I’d rather get the experience than go out drinking!”