Fife College student Monika starts new career in construction industry

18th February

Fife College Student Monika Cook has started a new career with a local construction company after studying an HND in Quantity Surveying.

Monika, from Kirkcaldy, is due to complete her HND in June but has already secured a Quantity Surveying traineeship with local firm Napier CS Ltd.

Initially studying Business and Accounting at the College, Monika was inspired to start the HND Quantity Surveying course after learning more about what is one of the lesser-known construction professions.

From one-off houses to multi-million-pound capital projects, Quantity Surveyors make a huge contribution to the success of projects across the world.

Their role is to manage the budget and contractual relationships of a building project, from the initial project start up to the completion stage, which requires an in-depth understanding of the complete construction cycle, and the roles of each professional and trade required to build a successful project.

The profession offers a career salary above the average industrial wage, with the UK average salary for a newly qualified Quantity Surveyor sitting between £25,000 to £28,000 which will rise steadily with experience.

Monika said:

“I changed my direction of study because a friend who studied Architectural Technology at Fife College told me about the Quantity Surveying course on offer at the College and more about the profession.

“I find myself most comfortable working with Excel and everything related to counting or planning. Thanks to the college preparation, it is now much easier for me to illustrate the knowledge I’ve acquired and use it in the workplace.

“I still have the last semester of my HND to finish, but my employer is very understanding and is helping me complete the course. Starting College and changing course to Quantity Surveying was the best decision I’ve made.”

Monika secured her traineeship with Napier CS Ltd after their Managing Director, Ron Napier, contacted Quantity Surveying lecturer, Martina Brady-Meldrum, with a view to recruiting a student from the course.

After a round of interviews before Christmas, Monika was offered the position with the Rosyth based firm and started in her post in January.

With over 30 years of industry experience, Napier CS Ltd has delivered on major projects throughout Scotland, working for clients of various sizes, from large scale house builds to major commercial projects.

Ron Napier, Managing Director of Napier Construction Services Ltd, said:

“We are delighted to bring a student from Fife College on board. We are a family orientated business that places a huge emphasis on all employees being made to feel part of the family. Both myself and my son Ronnie Jnr wanted to keep our personnel local to help local people get a good meaningful job. Fife College was an obvious choice for us to fulfil this.

“It was important to us that we bring new people into the industry whilst allowing them to develop and continue in their knowledge building. Currently, we, like most business sectors are suffering from the shortfall of people wanting to work in the industry. Fife College gave us an avenue to remedy the problem.

“Monika jumped at the opportunity we presented to the group after we introduced ourselves to them at Fife College.

“It is refreshing that both the College and in particular Martina Brady-Meldrum and Monika herself were so easy to deal with during our time trying to get someone on board. We would happily continue to support the College by utilising this avenue to fill future positions when we require them to be filled.

Martina Brady-Meldrum, Built Environment Lecturer at Fife College, said:

"Despite the challenges posed by the Coronavirus, the property and infrastructure market in Scotland has continued to grow in recent years, making the construction industry an attractive career choice.

“We are delighted that our HND student Monika has secured a job as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor with Napier CS Ltd.

“We are always keen to connect with local employers in this way, not only does it give our students direct access to the jobs market, but it also offers businesses an opportunity to directly tap into the sector’s next generation of talent.”

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