National Highways: Aeryn Carpenter

“I made the leap from university to apprenticeship with National Highways”

Aeryn Carpenter is a final year quantity surveying degree apprenticeNational Highways logo

I recently finished my quantity surveying degree at Birmingham City University and I am currently preparing for my RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). The APC process will officially mark the end of my quantity surveying apprenticeship and I will become a member of RICS.

I started my full-time degree at Birmingham City University in September 2019. Encouraged by my tutors, I decided to take the leap and apply for the equivalent degree apprenticeship at National Highways at the start of 2020. One week after interviewing, the UK went into lockdown due to COVID-19. After finishing my first year of university at home in May 2020, I was offered a place on the apprenticeship scheme to start in September.

Transitioning from my full-time degree to the part-time course of my apprenticeship was seamless, thanks to the university and National Highways’ support.

At National Highways, I joined the central cost estimating team, handling various types of estimates for teams across the country. My day-to-day work involved liaising with project teams, measuring technical drawings, creating take off sheets and bills of quantities for the work required. 

I also had the opportunity to work on a national procurement tender for the Scheme Delivery Framework: a multi-million-pound framework spanning the whole of England for asset maintenance and renewal.

After 12 months, I moved to the HS2 Interface Team, where I currently work. Here, I commercially manage the delivery of technology diversions on the network to make way for the construction of HS2. I assist with drafting and negotiating agreements between National Highways and HS2 and carry out the payment cycles between National Highways and its supply chain, and with HS2, to ensure cost-effectiveness.

My apprenticeship has provided invaluable experience and knowledge alongside my studies, supported by extra training and resources aligned with RICS APC competencies. National Highways offers excellent apprenticeships with a strong emphasis on learning, plus 10 days of study leave per year for university deadlines or RICS assessments, which I used during my final-year dissertation.

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