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Guildford Graduate Aspires to a Career in Construction

Published on: 2 Nov, 2023
Updated on: 2 Nov, 2023

Chloe Lopez

A University of Surrey graduate has been recruited by a Guildford-based construction company to help tackle the industry’s skills shortage.

Chloe Lopez, 22, a Business Management graduate from the University of Surrey, who is from Shalford, was accepted onto Barratt David Wilson Southern Counties’ ASPIRE Programme this Autumn, based at its head office on Old Portsmouth Road, Artington.

The two-year scheme provides hands-on career education and training and will see Chloe deployed within each department of the business to learn first-hand about her new employer’s operations. Chloe will then undertake a final placement within the Commercial department, where she will train to become an Assistant Quantity Surveyor.

During the programme, Chloe will meet regularly with other graduates from across the business and undertake entrepreneurial fundraising with the Princes Trust’s Million Makers challenge.

Chloe comments: “It’s an exciting time to be entering the construction industry – the market is changing at a rapid pace and Barratt David Wilson Southern Counties offers an incredibly dynamic working environment. The ASPIRE Programme was the very first scheme that I applied to after my degree, and after a few short weeks, I have already gained so much knowledge and experience.

“Alongside my placements, I am also being mentored by the managing director, which has given me valuable insight and training to take forward in the role.”

Chloe Lopez being mentored by MD Julian Hodder

Chloe’s time is split between the office and working onsite at Barratt David Wilson Southern Counties’ developments in Berkshire and Sussex, where she is currently shadowing the surveying team. “You have the opportunity to get stuck in from day one!” she said.

“It’s hard work but when you’re on the job you can see the real-life impact of the work that we’re doing. Each day brings a new challenge, and I’m learning everything from procurement to budget valuations to overseeing the contractors. Each day is different and varied and there’s no better way to learn.”

MD Julian Hodder said: “What is fundamentally clear is the fact that the construction skills shortage reaches far beyond traditional trade careers such as carpentry and bricklaying. There is an impetus now for us to invest and train across all roles, and the ASPIRE graduate programme is just one way that we are attracting some of the best talent from the next generation.

“Chloe’s drive, dedication and work ethic has impressed her colleagues, and she has a very bright future ahead in construction.”

Chloe is hoping to continue her career with Barratt’s after completing the ASPIRE Programme, and has ambitions to progress to a manager within the next five years.

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Responses to Guildford Graduate Aspires to a Career in Construction

  1. jim allen Reply

    November 2, 2023 at 11:56 am

    It was a sad day in 1994 when the then trades minister said ‘the governemnt is not a training organisation. That ended government training places, From 1908 through 1994 5,000 Apprentices formally known as “lads of the trade” passed through the Royal Aircrfat establishment and ended up in NASA Canada Australia with their trade skills.

    The trades and skills shortgage stems from that one speech. the pull in of the then skilled immigarant labour due to this lack of home grown training is now reflected in the current shortage. across the board. It is time employers woke up to the need; for loyal trainees lead to loyal workers leading to better products and more company profits.

    Good luck Chloe.

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