A solid foundation - Tom builds on his career
- 01 Oct 20
There are so many options after you leave school and it’s difficult to know what career path to take, never mind the best route in… When Tom Dray finished his A levels he started looking at business management degrees but quickly decided he didn’t want to go to university and set his sights on a commercial-based apprenticeship with Vistry Group (which includes Linden Homes and Bovis Homes). Two years on, he’s now finished his course and has been promoted to assistant quantity surveyor. Tom, 22, joined the company in 2018 in the Western region, based in Bristol. As part of the management trainee programme, Tom spent one day a week at the University Centre Somerset in Taunton and passed a two-year HNC course in Construction and the Built Environment while he worked at Vistry and gained on-the-job experience. The training covered all aspects of the housebuilding process from land buying, all the way through to the selling and marketing of the newly-built homes. Although trainees focus on one area of the business, they had the opportunity to complete departmental rotations to gain a valuable insight into how the business works as a whole. Tom lives in Cannington, near Hinkley Point and enjoys football and golf in his spare time. Speaking about his experience, Tom said: “The commercial department gives you a really good overview of the company. I look after the costs related to a new housing development, ensuring we enhance value for money, while achieving the quality standards. “When I joined I had no construction knowledge and had to ask a lot of questions! Everyone has been really supportive and I’ve never been told ‘I’ll explain later’; anyone I’ve asked for help has just stopped what they’re doing and given me their time. “I’m finding the role really interesting and love that while I’ve been learning, I’ve been paid to work and my course has been funded – it’s been a real win-win for me. “People don’t seem to realise how big the housebuilding industry is; there are so many opportunities in the commercial department but it’s almost an unknown career, or it is when you’re at school. “It’s been a great introduction into housebuilding and I don’t think I could pay for the experience that I’m getting. I’ve got a qualification under my belt, spent time in each department and worked throughout. It’s been a fantastic career choice.” Dave Farley, managing director at Vistry Group Western, said: “Our trainee schemes are wonderful and when you get candidates like Tom on board you can see that it’s the best way to attract and train good employees. There is a real shortage of jobs in the construction sector and initiatives like this are key to encourage people into the industry. “Tom has been a very hard-working and ambitious trainee; I know he wants to go as far as possible and we’re pleased to have been able to support him through his training and benefit from his new-found knowledge and experience. “We’ve realised that students and their parents are not aware of the opportunities that are offered in the housebuilding sector and those who have followed the management trainee programme have been delighted at the career progression and pay opportunities under one roof.” For more details visit www.bovis-careers.co.uk.