Recruiting the right talent and skills is crucial to the ongoing success of our sector. At Prologis UK, investing in the future of the industry’s workforce is a key part of our commitment to social value and, together with our supply chain, we strive to create more opportunities for local employment, training and apprenticeships, in addition to creating jobs for those furthest from the job market (the long-term unemployed, for example, or those with disabilities).

As a property company with a long-term ownership model it’s important for us to demonstrate the long-term benefits our logistics parks can bring to the local community. By nurturing the next generation of talent and giving them valuable exposure to the world of work we can build a highly productive and motivated workforce for the future.

Working at Prologis Park West London has really given me an insight into sustainability and the role that industrial logistics buildings can play in protecting the environment
Strive Mutuma, Setting out Engineer, Readie Construction

During National Apprenticeship Week we chat to Strive Mutuma – an ambitious young man who gained valuable experience working with our contractor, Volker Fitzpatrick, during the first phase of Prologis Park West London. Now studying towards a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at Brunel University and with his mind set upon achieving a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering with a major in sustainability, Strive is back working on the third phase of Prologis Park West London as a ‘Setting-Out Engineer’ for Readie Construction.

Here’s what he has to say about the value of apprenticeships and how his time working on Prologis Park West London has influenced his future career.

Strive working for Readie Construction at Prologis Park West London

Tell us how working at Prologis Park West London has helped shape your career aspirations.

Prologis Park West London has played a big role in shaping my career. Having worked on several projects as an industrial placement trainee, my goal to gain varied expertise first led me to Prologis Park West London as an apprentice to Volker Fitzpatrick Ltd in 2016, working on the steel frame project. Prior to this, I worked on several projects managed by Brookfield MULTIPLEX, one notable one on the London skyline being the St George Tower in South London. After completing the first phase of the Prologis Park West London project with Volker Fitzpatrick, I went on to join Interserve Construction as an Assistant Setting Out Engineer at the Material Store Project in Hayes. I am now delighted to be back working on the third phase of Prologis Park West London with Readie Construction. The valuable work experience I have gained has re-affirmed my ambition to become a Civil Engineer.

Is there one aspect of the work that really stood out for you?

All the experience I have gained has been enormously valuable; however, working at Prologis Park West London has really given me an insight into sustainability and the role that industrial logistics buildings can play in protecting the environment. I am fascinated by the prospects of the construction industry reducing its carbon footprint by adopting sustainable technologies for cost efficiency and a sound ecosystem. Prologis Park West London is the most sustainable project I have worked on to date and is a major influence on my choice to study sustainability for the individual project in my fourth year of university.

What is your role on site and what do you most enjoy about it?

Primarily I am responsible for meeting the subcontractor’s requirements- such as setting up the laser, preparing permits, conducting AS- Built survey and assisting the senior Engineer with setting-out tasks. I also conduct daily health and safety site inspections to ensure standards are not compromised. On a weekly basis I take site photos of ongoing works for progress records. As a trainee Civil Engineer, I most enjoy being the brain behind the work, taking part in decision making, checking and examining the quality of work and carrying out delegated duties.

What challenges have you faced in your career so far and how have you overcome these?

When I started my career, I did feel, at times, that I was not getting enough exposure to the experience I needed. However, after discussing this with my mentor, I managed to develop by getting involved in the decision-making process and putting myself forward for challenging tasks. I also worked on implementing a thorough approach when dealing with subcontractors to ensure work is done to the right standard. My advice to other apprentices would be to speak-up if you feel you are not getting what you need and to make full use of your mentor – after all, they are there to help you progress.

Currently working as a trainee Civil Engineer Strive hopes to one day achieve his Masters Degree in Civil Engineering

What is the most important lesson you have learned during your time at Prologis Park West London?

While at Prologis Park West London, I have learnt to master the main aspects of the job so that dealing with any challenges that arise has become second nature. My career has really taken shape since joining Volker Fitzpatrick in 2016 and I have gained an enormous amount of knowledge.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to enrol at Brunel University for my Bachelor of Civil Engineering final year in September 2019. I am aiming for a first class honours degree. Upon graduation, I plan to proceed and study M. Eng in Civil Engineering with a major in Sustainability in the academic year 2020. In the short run leading up to returning to study, I am intent on accumulating a breadth of contracting experience with Readie Construction. To complement the experience, I also plan to get design expertise by arranging work attachment with a Civil Engineering Consultancy. From 2021 onwards, upon successful completion of my M. Eng and graduation, I aim to progress professionally towards Chartered Civil Engineer status.

What advice would you give to other young people?

The civil engineering profession is highly technical and an interesting pathway which forms the basis for all engineering domains and ultimately the advancement of our modern society. Unlike many careers, engineering offers a good challenge and the much-needed balance of indoors and outdoors work. For the young, engineering also gives a platform to shape the world around us. As the construction sector is booming, young and skilled professionals are in demand and will be the next crop of renowned professionals and, who knows, they may even become the modern-day Joseph Bazalgette or Isambard Kingdom Brunel, transforming tomorrow’s spatial landscape.