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Ash’s Advice for Young Construction Graduates

Initially working in our SA head office, Ash recently moved to Melbourne to help establish Kennett’s presence in Victoria. Read his advice for young construction graduates.

After 7 years at Kennett, Ash has estimated projects totalling approximately $600 million. One of his first jobs at Kennett was valued at approximately $30 million.

“It was quite the eye opener for a young estimator to be given a project like that at such a young age, but Ash took it in his stride” said James Kennett.

Initially working in our South Australian head office, and impressing right away with some outstanding wins, Ash recently moved to Melbourne to help establish Kennett’s presence in Victoria.

“The amount of staff in Melbourne has doubled since its establishment in July 2020. The team has solidified a great working relationship and repeat work with clients such as Storage Investments Australia and Zagame Automotive.

Opening a new interstate office during the peak of COVID-19 was challenging; it had an impact on the ability to source and secure projects due to client confidence. In some cases, successful tenders fell through as a result of cancellations, making planning difficult. There were also impacts on material availability, resulting in unforeseeable cost increases industry-wide.” Ash said.

Despite these challenges, Ash has loved his time at Kennett Builders and has enjoyed being a key person in the establishment of Kennett Victoria.

How did you get into estimating?

I did a construction TAFE course as part of year 12 and the course had a requirement of 2 weeks work experience in an office. During that time the company I did work experience for asked for me to return after finishing school. I started working with the Estimator as an assistant then eventually began pricing my own work.

 What is your favourite part of your job?

My favourite part of working for Kennett’s is the trust and ‘family’ mentality of the business. This sees a lot of Kennett’s staff spending a good portion of their career with the company.

My favourite part of the estimating role is the sense of reward when securing a project, especially if you have worked hard for it.

What advice would you give to undergraduates entering the Kennett Builders’ graduate program?

  • Ask heaps of questions, and be confident in doing so.
  • Never assume, always confirm.
  • Try not to stress too much, anything can be resolved.
  • Don’t party on week nights. It’s never worth it. Haha!

What are some stand out projects that you’ve worked on?

  • Uniting SA, West Lakes
  • Adelphi Apartments, Glenelg
  • AGT Wheat Breeding Facility
  • Anchor Project Memorial Drive
  • Gambier Community Hub
    • We didn’t win this but it was definitely the most challenging tender I’ve ever priced, $63 million