Graduate lays the groundwork for a career in construction

Graduate lays the groundwork for a career in construction

Guildford-based housebuilder Barratt David Wilson Southern Counties is helping to tackle the construction industry skills shortage, having recently recruited its latest graduate trainee. Chloe Lopez (age 22), a Business Management graduate from the University of Surrey, was accepted onto Barratt David Wilson Southern Counties’ ASPIRE Programme this Autumn, based at its head office on Old Portsmouth Road.

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 Barratt David Wilson Southern Counties’ 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’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!” Chloe adds. “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.”

Chloe recently supported with the launch of David Wilson Homes’ newest development in Finchampstead, Finchwood Park, and worked closely on the creation of the customer sales arena. “Seeing the final product brought to life demonstrates how each person plays a vital role in constructing new homes and ensuring its success,” Chloe adds.

Julian Hodder, Managing Director at Barratt David Wilson Southern Counties, adds: “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 David Wilson Southern Counties after completing the Aspire Programme, with ambitions to progress to a manager within the next five years.

Chloe and the team at Barratt David Wilson Southern Counties are helping to create new homes across the South East, including at The Poppies in Aylesford, Brookwood Meadows in Westham and Finchwood Park in Finchampstead. For further details about Barratt David Wilson Southern Counties or the ASPIRE Programme, visit / or call 0333 355 8498.

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