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An Interview...

with G&T Assistant Surveyor, Kush Hirani.

Find out what life is like when you're a cost consultant

What is your job?

"I am a cost manager or cost consultant (sometimes also referred to as a quantity surveyor - QS) employed at Gardiner & Theobald.

Broadly, my role involves the financial management of construction projects both pre and post contract. Pre-contract, a cost consultant is typically engaged to provide construction project cost advice by preparing cost estimates and budgets with consideration towards the likely risks involved.

As the project transitions into the post-contract phase, my responsibilities extend to monitoring site progress, reporting cost movements, in addition to visiting site on a regular basis to assess the value of works complete to date and producing a payment recommendation."

"The cost manager plays a pivotal role in ensuring the successful delivery of construction projects through effective cost management and resolution of contractual complexities to ensure the project is delivered on budget."

What qualifications or experience do you need for the job?

"There are several entry pathways for a career in cost management or quantity surveying.

An apprenticeship programme is one such route to professional qualification. You can join an organisation straight from school, where an employer will typically provide sponsorship through the necessary academic qualification as the route offers individuals the opportunity to gain technical on-the-job training whilst gaining an academic qualification simultaneously. All at the same time as earning!

Alternatively, a surveying degree or a post-graduate conversion course is also a well-known route into the profession. This is where you’ve studied a relevant surveying or construction related degree at university and join the industry as a graduate, often on a graduate scheme. There are also organisations where you’re able to convert the transferable skills you’ve learnt through a non-construction related degree into a relevant qualification to take your professional chartership. Often employers will sponsor employees through these routes.

The industry recognises the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Assessment of Professional Competence (often referred to as the APC) as a key professional qualification and a testament to an individual’s knowledge. Many businesses offer the opportunity to achieve chartership through training and development programmes.

Gardiner & Theobald offers both Apprenticeship and Graduate roles, as well as opportunities for career changers or those who want to convert transferable skills to a professional qualification – I would highly recommend getting in touch with our People and Development team, who will be able to advise on the best entry route for you."

"Many businesses offer the opportunity to achieve chartership through training and development programmes."

What projects have you been involved with?

"In my three years of experience, I have been incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work on several projects across multiple sectors including an innovative net zero sustainable office development in Southwark, a private rented sector affordable residential scheme in Crawley and a sensitive refurbishment and restoration of an iconic brutalist office building in Covent Garden.

I have now been involved in a project in St John’s Wood for just over a year."

What's the best thing about your job?

"The most fulfilling aspect of my career lies in the diversity of projects that I get to be a part of and the opportunity to see them through to successful completion.

The industry is characterised by its collaborative environment, I find this allows different people from various professions and background to contribute their unique expertise. This team-working ethos not only enables effective problem-solving but also creates a fantastic platform for continuous learning and the opportunity to expand my knowledge base."

"The most fulfilling aspect of my career lies in the diversity of projects that I get to be a part of and the opportunity to see them through to a successful completion."

What advice would you give to a young person starting out, who might be interested?

"Similar to most professions, technology is increasingly shaping the way we work. I would suggest delving into the potentials of artificial intelligence and coding. Undoubtedly, future cost consultants would stand to gain significantly from these advancements."

What do you do in your spare time outside of work?

"Outside of work, I travel and explore diverse cultures and landscapes. The experiences are truly immersive and inspiring. In addition, I enjoy watching cricket so it is ideal to be working on a project in such close proximity to Lord’s Cricket Ground!"

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