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Oliver's Work Experience.

Buxton Bear has been showing year 10 student Oliver Creed (15) around our offices and sites this week as part of his work experience, please read Oliver's blog below.

My Work Experience so far

Day one: Site visit to ‘Queen Elizabeth Foundation’ project

Arriving to the site in the morning, I was feeling excited and slightly nervous as this was my first time ever being on a construction site. After signing in at the front gates I was shown around the site office and where the site team would be based. The site office itself was bigger than I expected as the office itself wasn’t a blue container only being able to fit maybe five desks at most. Following the office tour I had to sit down and go through my RAMS (Risk Assessment Method Statements). After reading through my RAMS and signing them I was equipped with my PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), a hard hat, a high visible jacket and metal capped boots. Then I was able to have a site induction of QEF. I was interested considerably whilst being shown around as it was my first experience on being on a construction site and seeing what groundworkers do and how the management worked on site. Afterwards I helped trainee site supervisor Lewis Creed fill out the site safety audit checklist. What I was presented with was all components of the site in a checklist and I had to judge whether or not they were kept to a good standard or not. Following this I attended a meeting about Asbestos awareness. I learnt that building that were built before the year 2000 usually contain asbestos in such things as plastic toilet seats, lagging and ceiling tiles, also that the three main colours of asbestos are white, blue and brown however asbestos can be any colour and finally asbestos was banned in construction in 1999 after knowing about the dangers of the material in 1983. After lunch, I was briefed on the job of a surveyor. The job of a surveyor consists of making sure that the project is within the budget given, controlling the overall money within the project.

Day two: Office work in Marketing

This day was a lot calmer and not as stressful in my opinion as not a lot of walking was required. My first job was to assist making a sports quiz for the staff as I am heavily involved in sports myself. Then I was taught about procurement and what they are. A procurement is the acquisition of goods, services or works from an external source. Following this I was taught and tenders and how companies buy the governments higher value services. Afterwards I learned about portals and e-tenders. A portal is usually a website that a government use to list their higher value services for companies to then offer a submission. E-tender, is a way of which governments present their high value services on the internet. Following this, I told about the role of a pre-construction manager. A pre-construction manager role consists of the overall planning, coordination, and control of a project from inception to completion aimed at meeting a client's requirements in order to produce a functionally and financially working project. I was also briefed on the past submission from Buxton on the fitted ringing house at Chatham historic dockyards.

Day three: Three different site visits – ‘The Malt House’, ‘Canterbury Cathedral’, ‘The Fitted Ringing house’.

Day three out of five was a lot more hectic than the last two as I had to travel to 3 different sites reasonably far apart from each other. The first site I visited was the ‘Malthouse’ which was a part of The King’s School. I was honestly amazed when I visited this site due to the size of the project, how big the actual building that the subcontractors were building, and the history behind the school. It is named the oldest operating school in the country dating back to 597 A.D. The work internally also amazed me. Science laboratories, drama studios and a theatre were being built all at once and there was also a huge amount of groundwork going on. I never knew before this that all this work could take place at one time. Following this I had a site office tour, and a site tour.

The second site I went to was also interesting as it was at the Canterbury Cathedral. This job was a lot harder than other jobs as Buxton had to assess the current situation of the very old hotel being renovated. This consisted of viewing the old steel structure which was in need of desperate repair before Buxton had arrived. I was shown an area of where the groundworkers had dug deep into the ground and came across two skeletons! I was amazed by this as it was one of the least things I was expecting however thinking about it groundworkers must come across these situations a lot. We were also shown a medieval wall that was built next to the Cathedral. This was also amazing as again I wasn’t expecting this. Following these discoveries I had a site tour and a site office tour. Surprisingly I was allowed into the Cathedral through Buxton to view the scaffolding on the Cathedral ceiling and to see how well made and structured it was.

This was my final site visit and a very interesting site it was. I visited ‘The Fitted Rigging House’ in the Historic Dockyard in Chatham. For the brief time I had at this site I was welcomed very well by the site team. This site was very interesting and attractive as it had a plain external; but a good-looking internal design. Also finding out a bit of history too was interesting. All the ships ropes and sails was stored in this building. A nice part of the project is that the client wanted the features that had been used in the past. For example, signs that said weight limits per square metre and foot and also how worn out certain parts of the floor were in certain places. After the site tour I had a site office tour.

I would like to thank Buxton for allowing this work experience as have learnt a lot in this short time. Also I am grateful for how well the staff from each site and in the office have treated me, I have felt very welcomed from everybody.

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