Work experience provides the opportunity to learn from Socius

Earlier this year, we welcomed Barakat Sanusi to the team for an 8-day work placement at our office in Bristol. First meeting our Head of Engagement, Liam, at a mentor meet-up organised by local youth organisation, Babbasa, she showed an interest in the construction industry and was keen to learn more about the role of a developer. Having now completed her placement, Barakat was keen to share her positive experience with other young people who have an interest in the sector…

My work experience with Socius was divided into two days every week for four weeks, and on my first day I went to the Socius office in Bristol, which is just next to the Soapworks project site. I met some of the team there and was invited to attend a number of design meetings with project partners. Straightaway, it was obvious to me how committed the partners and Socius were to moving the development forward and I was given a tour of the office and Soapworks, as well as background information on the project.

One of the partner meetings was with a quantity surveyor, conducting value engineering to minimise the project's expenses. This was a valuable opportunity for me and I learnt a lot. I then met with possible consultants to find out about their services and the aspects of the project that they would potentially be getting involved in. This gave me insight into the due diligence process, gave me food for thought and encouraged me to do some further investigation, for my own personal development.

I was inspired by the collaboration and teamwork between everyone involved in the project, with discussions between different partners helping to shape the design, and helping to ensure the long-term success of Soapworks.

As well as attending meetings at Socius’ office and Soapworks, I went to architect’s offices, and met with investors, who provided me with fascinating insight into the financial decision-making process. I was really excited to see the mid-tender presentations from potential contractors, which gave me an inside perspective of the tender process, and demonstrated how different contractors approach the same project, in varying ways.

I was really pleased to learn that sustainability is a major focus for this project, in my opinion this is vital, given the current global warming crisis, and I enjoyed hearing from potential contractors about how they planned to incorporate sustainability principles within their strategies.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Socius, and as a young person who is interested in the UK construction sector, I couldn’t have asked for a better insight and experience, which has inspired me to continue learning and building on my knowledge of the industry. If anyone is thinking that they’d like a similar experience, I’d highly recommend getting in touch with the team.