Stephen McConnell

Quantity Surveyor

BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying & Commercial Management

"The Clarke Façades Graduate programme has provided me with the knowledge & training I needed to make everything learnt in University come together. If you are searching for a great work environment where you can continually develop I highly recommend this company."


How did you first hear about the Clarke Facades Graduate Programme?

I first became aware of Clarke Facades at Ulster University’s Engineering and Construction Graduate and Placement Recruitment Fair in Autumn 2013 and was recommended the company by one of my University lecturers, who was overseeing another graduate at Clarke Facades at that time. After attending the recruitment fair, I was very impressed with the company’s ideologies & immediately applied for the role of placement Quantity Surveyor. Having successfully completed my placement year, I was then given the opportunity to work part-time throughout my final year.


What is your typical working day like at Clarke Facades?

In my three years working at Clarke Facades I have been involved in a broad range of tasks. In my placement year I started off working as an Assistant in the Estimating and Quantity Surveying department in which I was responsible for assisting with the procurement of materials. I am now predominantly responsible for the post contract commercial performance of projects ranging from £1m to £6m. I am mostly office based in the company’s head offices in Portglenone, however, two days every two weeks or when required, I am based in London & South East England.

A typical day in the office consists of managing sub-contracts from procurement to final account, identifying, costing & recording variations, preparing interim valuations & subsequent cost reports, preparation & negotiation of final accounts with clients & value engineering.


What sort of training do you receive at Clarke Facades?

Clarke Facades is a fantastic company to join if you are wishing to progress and develop quickly in your chosen profession as the company is continually investing in the training and development of its workforce. I have received training in CWCT (Curtain Walling & Cladding Technology), Microsoft Excel & Health & Safety accreditations. Semi Annual appraisals are also carried out between employees & line managers to establish foreseeable training requirements.


What is your favourite thing about working for Clarke Facades?

My favourite thing about working for Clarke Facades is the family ethos and positive atmosphere between all staff within the company. Everyone gets on so well within the company and despite the rapid growth there is still excellent levels of communication between everyone. I have also appreciated the high levels of responsibility afforded to me by the senior staff which is something I feel I have thrived on and has helped me to grow in confidence and remain ambitious both in and out of work.


How has the Graduate programme benefited you?

When I started with Clarke Facades 3 years ago I had little or no experience in commercial management outside of a classroom and now I have been given the opportunity to manage multiple projects. I feel the training and mentoring available has been fantastic.


Final Thought

I would highly recommend this company to anyone wishing to enter the build environment as a placement student or graduate. You will learn and develop a broad range of skills in whatever your chosen profession and make some great friends in doing so.