We’re lucky to have a great team here at Crossfield. It’s a team we’ve built carefully over the last few years – selecting just the right people to make sure we’ve got just the right personalities, commitment and skills.
So we’d like you to meet them.
Samantha Smith, 22 is in her second year of training as a Degree Apprentice Quantity Surveyor (QS) at our Alexandra Drive site in Aigburth
Here, she shares her experiences of being a young woman in the construction industry and helping to build part of the college she used to attend.
How did you come to join Crossfield?
I was studying for a Level 3 BTEC in Construction and the Built Environment at Hugh Baird College in Bootle and just presumed the next step for me was University – I had even applied.
At the same time, Crossfield were working on the St Winefride’s Campus – a new part of Hugh Baird College that was a few minutes away from the main site where I was studying. Crossfield had invited construction students on to the site so that they could gain experience of what working in construction is really like, and through that a friend of mine found out that they were looking for Degree Apprentice Quantity Surveyors.
I hadn’t heard of Degree Apprenticeships before but as soon as I looked into it more, doing one sounded like a no brainer. I spoke to Crossfield, had an interview, and it all took off from there.
What’s it like being a young woman on a building site?
Sometimes I am the only female but it’s just not an issue for me at all. My dad is a dry liner and I started out working with him so I’m very used to being on site. In fact, that’s why I wanted to go into the construction sector.
I’m quite a confident person, so I’ve no problem in holding my own, but really I don’t need to. Everyone I’ve met has been really friendly and welcoming and I haven’t been treated differently at all because I am a woman.
You’re doing a Degree Apprenticeship – how do they work?
I still go to University to learn the theoretical parts of being a QS and will get a degree at the end of that. I do that one day a week at Liverpool John Moore’s University. The other four days a week I work on a Crossfield site, where I am learning what it’s really like to be a QS and learning hands-on through a real project. At the moment I am working at Alexandra Drive in Aigburth.
It’s a project to create a total of 73 homes, some for rental or shared ownership and some for sale.
What’s great is that I am paid a full-time salary whilst I am training, plus Crossfield gives me time off each week to go into University. At the end I will graduate with a degree, no student loan and five years’ experience on site: 90% of my fees are covered by the government at 10% by Crossfield.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Now, I am working on brickwork measures and drawings, doing calculations. Sometimes I have orders and payment notices to handle. I am starting to take on my own packages, for example roofing.
What’s great is that I have James, Crossfield’s lead QS on the site, who is guiding me in everything. So even though I am taking on more responsibility now that I am in my second year, he is always there with advice and guidance when I need it.
What’s the best part of your job?
Working and learning at the same time. What I learn at University isn’t just theoretical stuff that I have to try to remember when I graduate. I get to see it in action the very next day on site.
Also, if I’ve any questions about my course work, I have 30 or 40 people who are more than willing to help me out.
I’m going to be working on Alexandra Drive until it is completed in Autumn 2021 so it will be great to see a project through.
What’s next for you?
When I complete my Degree Apprenticeship in three years’ time I would love to be a lead QS with Crossfield with responsibility for my own site.