Industrial placements

Company information

Symm is known for its active training schemes, where apprentices are hand-picked from over a hundred applicants each year. Most years see 20-25 apprentices with Symm to learn the crafts of bricklaying, carpentry, wood machining, joinery and specialist decorating techniques through both on-site practice and theoretical training.

In order to maintain the high quality of its apprentices' work, Symm constantly monitors and reviews its training schemes which have to date been based on the NVQ level 2 and the more advanced level 3. In response to this, Symm has now launched a Five Year Apprentice Scheme.

Under the new scheme Symm intends to expand the apprentices' practical and theoretical knowledge and provide them with a more thorough understanding of how the construction industry works and the associated skills that are required across the core building craft trades. It also gives them more time to gain experience in their chosen trade and to mature as individuals, ready for professional responsibility.

Placement Students 2010-11

Sabrina Spagnoli

I am in my third year studying a BSc in Construction Project Management and to complete our course there is a mandatory placement year. When Dominic gave a presentation at Brookes I knew Symm was a company I wanted to be a part of. I then decided to apply and luckily got the job. for the last 5 months Luke, Vince and the rest of the team have been keeping me busy with Estimating and Surveying. By taking this placement I have found that I understand the building and tendering process which is half the battle at university. Visiting sites has also helped me by being able to see the development of projects.

Matthew Barnwell

I am currently based on site at a Cotswold house working as an Assistant Site Manager. As well as assisting in monitoring daily tasks on site I am presently working on compiling two building manuals for both this and a London apartment. By understanding these responsibilities I am moving towards a better understanding as to how the industry operates and what is required behind the scenes of construction; more directly it is likely that as I now have a reasonable background of these building files I will be conducting research to further my basic knowledge and perhaps relate it to a dissertation title in my final year at university. This could conceivably lead to suggestions into ways of improving the Building Manual's compilation and use.

Simon Barnby

I am currently on a placement position with Symm studying construction project management. Previous building experience before starting work with Symm included working for a builder in Herefordshire converting barns into holiday accommodation. Currently I am enjoying working at a London penthouse as Assistant Site Manager under the watchful eye of Lee Blacker. It is proving to be a great experience as it has given me the opportunity to see how a modern refurbish in a London flat is carried out. It is all well and good learning in a classroom at university but this placement with Symm so far has proved to be even more valuable. It has given me a bit of an insight to what building is all about.

Robert Collins

I have been working for Symm as an Assistant Contracts Manager in the Small Works Department under Rob Coulson. My placement started in July and I have been busy working on many projects such as a basement refurbishment of a London studio flat and a Cotswold house where we are about to start a new pool house. Our sites cover much of London, Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds presenting new challenges every day. This placement has provided me with a real insight into the construction industry and i feel I am learning many new skills working at Symm.

Gianni Spagnoli

As a third year student studying Quantity Surveying it is part of our degree to spend a year at a firm in order to experience what it is like in the real world. I chose to join Symm due to their involvement throughout Oxford and the obvious pride they have in the work they undertake. Despite being a Symm for such a short time I feel I have learned a great deal about the role of an Estimator/Surveyor already. I have found the site visits very crucial to the role, as it helps understand the work involved, but also helps everyone keep up to date on what's going on with a project. I feel as though the knowledge I'll gain from this opportunity will aid me greatly for my dissertation and my future career as a surveyor.



Symm and Company Ltd


Symm & Company Ltd


Osney Mead


Associated course

Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management