Wednesday May 18, 2022
Demolition is an exciting industry with a host of career prospects to offer.
But don’t just take our word for it, find out what Henry Parrott – 3rd-year Oxford Brookes Quantity Surveying student – has been getting up to during his 4-month long placement at Cawarden…
Cawarden is proud to support the next generation by providing placement opportunities and attracting people like Henry into the sector.
Cawarden’s Group Marketing Manager Emma Attwood chats to Henry and gets him to spill the beans on his placement.
EA: Please tell us a little about yourself
HP: Hi, I’m a 3rd-year Quantity Surveying student at Oxford Brookes University currently on my industrial placement year. I spent the first 6 months client-side working in Birmingham and the latter part of my placement working for Cawarden. When not working for Cawarden I am mostly doing something related to sport – either playing, or watching it occasionally in a public house.
EA: What attracted you to take a placement within the demolition sector?
Demolition has fascinated me since I was a kid – like most people, watching a building getting blown up is brilliant. Then growing up and finding a path of employment which is forever changing with one job never being the same is quite addictive.
EA: So what drew you to Cawarden?
HP: Cawarden stuck out from the get-go upon coming across articles about the company from the NDFC and seeing the name come up on frameworks. I thought why not try here.
EA: You joined us nearly 4 months ago, what has been your role?
HP: I have been operating under the Commercial Director Mr Oliver Crooks helping him with everything from monthly applications for payment to costing and winning demolition works.
EA: What have you found most interesting?
HP: The margins and management. The margin is quite small I found so it is down to how you treat and trust the operatives carrying out the work – from the drivers you need to have the utmost faith in not land you with a large insurance bill to an agency worker who needs to turn in for work so to not delay you a week costing thousands.
EA: What has it been like working at Cawarden?
HP: Like all Q&A’s you can’t speak negatively but over these last 4 months, I have been dumbfounded by how Cawarden has accepted and treated me. I have been brought under the wing of all I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with and truly don’t have a bad word to say. Professional, hungry and diligent are how I would describe Cawarden.
EA: What have been your highlights?
HP: Arguing with other Qs who are charted and have more experience than the years I have been alive over some small and large amounts, I have found tremendous fun. Also working on the Laurie House demolition project and engaging with the client – I couldn’t ask for much more and enjoy the level of trust that is building there.
EA: What have you learnt during your time at Cawarden?
HP: Attention is paramount at all times, the 6P’s, and that anything can happen so you have to be ready to react. Saying no is respected just as much as saying yes.
EA: Has the placement benefitted you?
HP: I believe a real sense of pride in the work that I do going noticed. Cawarden is family owned and operated so it doesn’t have thousands of employees with multiple people in the same role. It is organic and you have to carry out your part. If you make a mistake it’s felt more so down the chain which I think is something I now have added respect for and will be the biggest thing I will take away.
EA: Would you say the placement at Cawarden has helped you with your career goals?
HP: Without a shadow of a doubt. It has substantiated my view that surveying is a path I would like to follow and reassured me that just because you train in one thing doesn’t mean you can’t transfer the skills to something else which is attractive.
EA: Would you recommend a placement at Cawarden to other students or graduates?
HP: Definitely! Work hard and you will see the rewards at Cawarden.
EA: And finally, what’s next for Henry?
HP: A quick trip to Vietnam to emulate the Top Gear 2008 Special, then either going back to do a harvest near home or I’m thinking of working for a haulage company – an interesting sector to further my experience and work out why nothing seems to come on time!