Meet our apprentice: Jack Riley, Assistant Quantity Surveyor Cumbria

Caption: Jack Riley

Jack has worked in a diverse range of Government communication contract roles including pilot testing of the NHS Covid-19 Track and Trace service and the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol for post Brexit export and import procedures.

He has joined the Solomons apprenticeship programme as an Assistant Quantity Surveyor and will be based at our Papcastle Depot offices near Cockermouth as part of the Cumbria team.

How have you found it so far?
It’s been great. Spending time to get to know the company and the people here, the projects Solomons are involved with as really opened my eyes. I’m just really keen to get stuck into things now!

Tell us more about what you did before joining the apprenticeship programme?
I worked on Government communications projects, running teams in contact centres for everything that was Government facing. Most recently, that was pilot testing of the NHS Covid-19 Track and Trace service. Before that I was working on The Trader Support Service to help implement all the paperwork and the systems needed for the Northern Ireland Protocol. I got into the job after doing a degree in Outdoor Adventure and Environmental Sciences at the University of Cumbria.

Why Quantity Surveying?
I get a lot of enjoyment out of being challenged, but I didn’t feel like I was being particularly challenged any more in my previous role. I just felt I had a lot more to give to my job. So, I started looking for new opportunities. I’d never, ever thought about becoming a Quantity Surveyor! But when I looked into it more, I thought it was something I’d be quite good at.

Why Solomons?
I was just generally looking for jobs when I came across the advert for the apprenticeship. The advert looked really fresh and different. Someone had clearly taken the time to write it properly. So, I decided to take a look at the website, and Solomons sounded like a really great company that invested in its people. I thought I’d jump at it. But I never thought I’d get it!

Now you’ve started the apprenticeship, where do you think you’ll get, do you have any targets?
I didn’t think I’d go to university or end up getting a degree. And I didn’t think I’d end up working on Government communications projects. I certainly didn’t know if Quantity Surveying would be for me and that I’d be doing this apprenticeship! So, in terms of targets, I have no idea where this will take me, but the road there is going to be fun! It’ll be a real learning curve. I would say that, I do believe all the job roles I’ve had have led me to this point. It’s not just my skills, it’s my inquisitive nature too. Then you have an industry that’s crying out for people to join it. It feels like this is meant to be!

What do you do in your spare time?
I’m really into anything that allows me to switch my mind off. That could be getting out into the beautiful Cumbria mountains or getting up on stage with Whitehaven Theatre Group, where I’ve been involved in their production of Kinky Boots. That was an incredible experience and I plan on doing productions again in the future. Me and my partner are also big foodies and really enjoy going out and supporting the great food network up and down the west coast of Cumbria. Then I have to work of all that food by swimming – in both the summer and winter!

Posts and articles are published here solely for informational purposes. The content contained therein may be brief and is intended to offer general guidance that may be of interest. The information provided is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for any professional advice, consultation or service.

© 2020 Solomons Europe
Solomons Europe is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Centrix House, Crow Lane East, Newton le Willows, WA12 9UY. Registered number: 3548482

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