Employee Spotlight: Kay Pritchett ~ Quantity Surveyor Manager (Shropshire Homes)
"At 40 years old I was looking for a new career challenge and joined Shropshire Homes Limited (SHL) as Assistant Quantity Surveyor in September 2006 with minimal construction knowledge. I had established a sound commercial background during my 24 years of employment in distribution and engineering but this was a non-traditional entry to the industry. Initially at SHL I looked after the Utilities, Section Agreements, Specialist Subcontractors and Variations and generally anything else needed.
Shropshire Homes provided sponsorship to complete a Foundation Degree in Construction - Quantity Surveying at Shrewsbury College on a day release basis. The three year course which initially seemed a long time, when I was already 40, but flew by and thoroughly enjoyed the learning process enhanced by my day to day working experiences at SHL. In 2009 I was awarded a Foundation Degree in Construction with Distinction at the Shrewsbury College Annual Technology Awards Ceremony received The John Thomas Award for Quantity Surveying as a mark of outstanding achievement.
With a thirst for knowledge and the encouragement and the full support of SHL I enrolled on 3 year BSc Construction Management Degree course at Wolverhampton University. The Degree course, as expected, was a massive step up in time commitment compared to the Foundation Degree. My role at SHL was also developing and was offered more opportunities to acquire further knowledge of the industry. I began assisting with feasibility and performing elemental take offs then began to look after individual sites and subcontractors leaning towards a more formal quantity surveying function. In 2011/2 I was awarded a First Class Honours degree in Construction Management and again enjoyed the whole experience.
Following my degree I was promoted to Quantity Surveyor and then as SHL progressed my career shadowed its success. In 2015 I was promoted to Project QS looking after our St Georges and Woodcote Way sites and again with the full support of SHL enjoyed the challenges presented whilst managing one assistant QS. After a restructuring of the QS Department in July 2017 I was promoted to Quantity Surveying Manager and am now responsible for a Project QS, 2 QS’s and 2 Trainee QS’s.
Not only did I find the whole learning experience extremely invigorating but consider the working opportunities presented by SHL as the critical part of my success. The continuous support and positive approach provided by the Directors of Shropshire Homes and my colleagues has provided the opportunity to thrive. Following my own positive career path with SHL I recently employed 2 Trainee QS’s to ensure that others can experience similar development opportunities; focusing on Succession Planning.
To top it all off my first site as a Project QS, St Georges Mansions in Stafford, has recently won the regional LABC West Midlands Building Excellence Awards 2019 for best change of use of an existing building – doesn’t get much better than that!"