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Making connections in Developer Services

Trainee Technician Project Coordinator Karl Wright talks about working in South West Water's Developer Services team.

Karl Wright
In 2014 I completed a two year Civil Engineering apprenticeship in 18 months, and was proud to be nominated as 'Apprentice Of The year'. I then joined the Developer Services department where I have been given a full-time position as a Trainee Technician Project Coordinator in the Clean Water team.

The South West is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Developer Services offers advice and guidance to builders, developers and homeowners, on everything from planning an extension to an existing house to building a large new housing or commercial development. We connect approximately 7,000 new properties each year to our water network, as well as connecting existing properties to the public water supply for the first time.

The reason I was so intrigued to obtain a job in this department was due to the wide range of jobs you are required to do. This brings with it substantial challenges, but also lots of variety. I am learning a lot and developing new skills, which is great for my future career.

My working day can vary from assisting in the day-to-day management of individual projects or packages of small and large water projects during detailed design, to the construction and close down phases including health and safety, scheduling, cost, quality and environmental considerations.

The largest project I have worked on so far is Sherford, Plymouth, which is a new market town being built in the South Hams in Devon, equidistant between Dartmoor and the south Devon coast. This development is proposing to provide 5,500 properties with a consortium of four different developers involved. This is one of the biggest developments we are currently designing for within Developer Services and should offer a huge benefit to the local economy in Plymouth and the South Hams.

Working to ensure developer projects proceed smoothly and on time is always a challenge with different third parties involved. However, working closely with colleagues in my team brings close partnerships, better solutions, confidence and provides a nice environment to work in. As a Trainee Technician I have a mentor who is available to advise should I have any queries. Having completed a year as a Trainee Technician Project Coordinator, I am now looking to become a Project Coordinator.

Alongside my day job I also currently attend a Level 4 water course twice every five weeks and I am studying 12 engineering units which should help my overall development. So far the course has been very beneficial to my role and I look forward to completing the remainder of the course.

I would recommend the Project Coordinator role at South West Water because there are so many opportunities available whilst working as a team with a mixture of friendly people to achieve the same goal.

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