In today's working world, spending 10 years with the same organisation is a rarity, let alone 30. One man who has spent his entire career with one company is Andy Speight, director at Birmingham-based project and cost management consultant Faithful+Gould.
Andy joined Silk & Frazier straight from school as a trainee and after qualifying as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, progressed through the business to Equity Partner and remained with the company when it was acquired by Faithful+Gould eight years ago.
The Early Days
Reflecting on how the industry has changed, Andy commented: "Early days included hand writing rates into Contract Bills of Quantities and lengthy calculations were undertaken on comptometer machines by full-time 'comps' prior to the introduction of calculators, which subsequently made comps redundant."
Not only has the modernisation of technology helped the role but having watched the Quantity Surveying profession develop, Andy has noticed a shift from a business where they had little opportunity to influence clients' aspirations, to a varied role with increased responsibilities.
He continues, "The profession changed dramatically in the late 70s and early 80s. Quantity surveyors developed project management skills and design and build, management contracting and other 'new form' procurement methods were developed which enabled the quantity surveyor to use his skills to the greater benefit of the client."
Alternative Career Paths
Andy has also noticed the move from being predominantly male-dominated to now seeing a higher proportion of women in the sector. He also sees a business that in terms of career prospects has a lot to offer young people from all kinds of backgrounds.
He adds: "The industry today offers a variety of alternative career paths and suits the ambitious and less ambitious. There are so many opportunities in terms of worldwide travel, involvement in a variety of sectors such as property, transport and industry, and the profession is conducive to generating a comfortable lifestyle. We see new starters joining with a variety of qualifications, not necessarily construction biased, and from 18 year olds with A levels to Masters level degree holders.”
Andy is a member of the Faithful+Gould management board with responsibility for the property sector and the management of the Central and North West Cluster. Currently he is working on the £25M redevelopment of the University of Leicester Library and the £100m redevelopment of Bedford Town Centre.
Commenting on his milestone, Andy said: “I feel really proud to have worked for such a fantastic company for so long, the variety of projects mean I work in a wide range of sectors with interesting people from many different backgrounds. Our continuing success and great team mean I hope to be here in many more years to come!"