A monthly exploration into the world of sustainability in the built environment with commentary and input from UCEM’s Vice Chancellor and academics.
A fourth-generation bricklayer-turned-surveyor
Posted on: 7 February, 2024
To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we’re profiling each of the shortlisters from this year’s UCEM Built Environment Apprenticeship Awards.
Name: Adam Stride
Job role: Building Surveyor
Category: Apprentice of the Year (Postgraduate)
Adam is a fourth-generation bricklayer, who is now pursuing building surveying: “I’ve got pictures of my Great-Grandad on a building site in the early 1900s, wearing a suit and tie because that’s how they used to dress to go on site back then!”
Adam explains the reasons he chose to reposition his career: “Bricklaying is very much a seasonal occupation. If it’s raining, or too cold, or you get injured, you’re not working. A role in a warm office started to really appeal! It was a natural progression for me, especially as my Dad was retiring at the same time and having some issues with his back and hip. I was looking into the future, and decided to make this change.”
With his practical experience, Adam was quickly snapped up by Savills, who enrolled him on a five-year degree building surveying apprenticeship at UCEM. He graduated with First Class Honours in 2023, and is now working towards his APC.
During the COVID pandemic, Adam experienced some family issues which made studying and working during lockdown all the more challenging. “I didn’t get furloughed so it was quite a lot to juggle all of it,” he says.
“UCEM really worked with me and supported me through that period of time, and gave me extensions when I needed them. My Apprenticeship Outcomes Officer even put me forward for the Chapman Adkin award at the university, which is a form of recognition for students who persevere through adversity.”
Adam is aiming to pass his APC this year, so naturally he is thinking about next steps. “I’m really looking forward to enjoying life as a chartered building surveyor – I never thought I’d be able to say that! For the next couple of years, I’d really like to get involved with the really broad spectrum of buildings that Savills works with, and just keep growing and gaining experience.”
Naturally, Adam is a keen advocate for the UCEM apprenticeship route as a means of entering the industry, but he advises anyone considering this path to do their research first: “It’s a five-year commitment, so make sure it’s the right thing for you. Get some work experience if you can, and talk to people in the industry. Don’t be afraid of picking up the phone and asking questions. If you decide it’s what you want, then it’s brilliant because you’re supported financially, you’re learning on the job and you’re getting a first rate education as well. It’s a fantastic opportunity.”
Adam says his nomination for Apprentice of the Year is “a real honour, and a reflection of everything I’ve worked for over the last five years. I can’t wait to go along to the awards and meet the other shortlisters. It’s going to be an amazing night!”