’I couldn’t ask for a better start to my career than this’
Anna Prescott is undertaking a chartered quantity surveyor degree apprenticeship at National Highways
Throughout sixth form, I didn’t have an ‘end goal’ or a certain career in mind. I took subjects because I enjoyed them and didn’t consider what would be beneficial for employment. It wasn’t until I began writing my personal statement to apply to full-time university that I realised that perhaps it wasn’t the right fit for me. After researching other options, I came across degree apprenticeships—which I had hardly heard of before.
After reading about National Highways’ degree apprenticeship programme and what they could offer me, including work on the Lower Thames Crossing scheme, I decided to apply to be part of a project with such high national significance.
Fast-forward to a year later, and I’ve been working as an apprentice commercial manager while studying part-time for my degree. On a day-to-day basis, this means I work within a team to develop construction contracts, assist in writing scopes and co-ordinate pricing for certain elements of the project. I have a full day each week dedicated to my quantity surveying and commercial management degree at the University of Westminster.
While studying and working at the same time can be challenging at times, I find that more often than not, they compliment each other very well. It becomes easy to apply the theory to practical situations. The concepts that I study are applicable to my daily work, and therefore I’m improving both as a student and professionally. I have found that the skills I have gained after only a couple months working with National highways will be applicable for my whole career (such as time management, forming good working relationships, and even soft skills like communication and confidence). I’m so excited to see where the future will take me— whether I will choose to see out one of the UK’s biggest infrastructure projects, or move on to more dynamic small schemes across the business. Every opportunity I can think of is available!
I couldn’t ask for a better start to my career than this. Gaining qualifications alongside practical experience, all while earning a wage—what an opportunity! I’d highly recommend it to anyone.
To find out more about apprenticeship training at National Highways, visit