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Hear from our graduates

Project Coordinator – ASPIRE Programme

Alex Cook- ASPIRE

Alex joined in 2012 after completing a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and a Postgraduate Diploma in Construction Project Management. At the end of the Graduate Programme, he joined our Group Support Office and is working on an offsite manufacturing project. He was also ‘runner-up’ in the 2013 National Graduate Recruitment Awards in the Rising Star category.

“During my postgraduate studies I developed my interest in the house building sector having spent a number of years working on residential projects. Following my studies, I spent time working in Australia. During this time I researched UK construction companies for when I returned to the UK. Barratt seemed to offer one of the most structured graduate programmes, and following the application process I was lucky enough to gain a place on the programme.

The recruitment process was well organised throughout with real emphasis on finding the right individuals. This clearly reflects the structured nature of the programme which focuses on developing individuals throughout the two years. This is done through rotations within the company and by regularly meeting up with the other graduates.

Having recently completed the programme I can say that they have exceeded my expectations in terms of support and development. I have had regular meetings with my Managing Director to discuss my progress and set further goals, as well as having access to departmental Directors on an almost daily basis. The quarterly Graduate meetings have provided training which has helped to make me a more rounded person and increase my awareness of what is happening elsewhere in the business. 

The departmental rotations have given me an overview of the business and the chance to gain an in depth knowledge of each specialism. Throughout each rotation I have been given real responsibility in delivering tasks, for example negotiating and agreeing contracts and specification for 29 Housing Association units over three sites. Then working with our buying and construction teams to ensure these are delivered to programme.

It’s not all work though, outside of the office I was part of a team from the Graduate Programme which took part in a charity bike ride from Liverpool to Newcastle which raised around £5000 to help the Prince’s Trust.

Through a Graduate Project we were given the opportunity to present to our Regional Managing Director, which has led me to the role I am doing now; a project that potentially revolutionises how we build homes. During the project in the early days, I was responsible for arranging workshops and reviews with key academics, senior industry representatives and Government advisers. My role now is to continue to research and implement the project against a backdrop of increasing regulation and material costs, decreasing trade availability, and the requirement for faster build. I can honestly say that no two days are the same, and time never drags!"