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Val Wynne on gaining Construction Contracting Operations Management NVQ Level 6

Posted: 15th June 2015

Val Wynne

Contracting PA

Anwyl Construction Co Ltd

Although previous jobs had connections to the construction industry my career in the construction industry began properly when I started working at Anwyl Construction Ltd., in North Wales in 2011 as a PA/administrator in the contracts department. After joining the company I became more involved in assisting the Senior Estimator and Quantity Surveyors with tendering processes. I am half way through my working life so when I was given the opportunity to change the direction of my career and gain an NVQ Level 6 in Construction Contracting Operations Management I grabbed it with both hands. When I was at school careers advisors did not really direct girls towards careers in construction so it was something that I had not previously considered.

My motivations for doing the NVQ arose as my knowledge base and interest grew and I was encouraged by the Senior Estimator to consider undertaking a course to develop my skills further and formalise my experience. My employer was able to support me by paying for the course up front and reclaiming the costs through the CITB training levy. I decided that the QCF/NVQ route was my best option as it was flexible enough to fit around my work and family commitments.

The NVQ helped my career because qualifications are important as they provide proof that you have the experience and competency to do the job. The NVQ has given me a broad understanding of many different aspects of construction and their inter-linkages. It has provided me with the skills and knowledge to take my job to the next level. Achieving the NVQ has given me great personal satisfaction and confidence in my ability to do more.

I would advise anyone who is thinking about doing an NVQ to take that step. They are an excellent way of getting qualified whilst working full time. Mine was similar to distance learning but having done other qualifications this way I was aware of the motivation and commitment required to complete. My NVQ took only six months so I would definitely recommend it. With the right encouragement and mentoring, more admin people could make the same career transition.

With the Level 6 NVQ (equivalent to undergraduate level), I have the option to join the RICS and gain Assoc RICS which is something I have been considering. In the meantime, I am really enjoying putting what I have learnt into practice, for instance I have just completed a tender for a small housing association for a project on two different sites. Every time I go out on site or attend client meetings, I am still learning and expanding my construction knowledge.

Contributor: I spent 6 years as technical support for the Facilities Management Department at North Wales Police and the last 4 years with Anwyl Construction completing my NVQ 6 in Construction Contracting Operations – Estimating Route, in the last 12 months. I am progressing at pace but working for a main Contractor I realise there is still a lot to learn.