Find Out More | Wates

Find Out More

Working at Wates

Working at Wates

Making the first steps in your career can be a daunting and exciting time. At Wates, we’ve created a programme where all our new joiners – whether direct from school, graduates from a non-construction background or graduates from a construction background, go through the same training programme, starting at different levels. During your initial training whether on placement, apprenticeship or graduate, you’ll receive the right experience, development and support to become professionally qualified and chartered with the relevant membership body.

Working at Wates: A guide

Our business units

The Wates Group is a family-owned business, established by the Wates family in 1897. Our work, focused across the UK, is split into three main areas: construction, development and property services.


Wates Construction Group consists of Wates Construction and SES Engineering Services.


Wates Construction specialises in maximising value by finding the most intelligent and creative ways to deliver outstanding buildings. We deliver projects in a range of sectors including, government, commercial, industrial and historical restoration.

SES Engineering Services

Our engineering services business specialises in the planning and delivery of mechanical, data and electrical services on a whole range of projects.


Wates Residential Developments Group comprises Wates Developments and Wates Residential.

Wates Developments

Wates Developments specialises in land, planning and residential development throughout Southern England, with a large and growing portfolio of potential housing development land.

Wates Residential

Wates Residential develops housing schemes together with the public and the private sector, helping to tackle the UK’s urgent need for new housing. As well as building and selling homes to the public we also provide affordable homes for social landlords, such as local authorities.


Our property services businesses are Wates Living Space and Wates Smartspace.

Wates Living Space

Our Wates Living Space business provides support to local authority housing associations and local councils, providing both planned and reactive maintenance services.

Wates Smartspace

At Wates Smartspace we fit out, refurbish, manage and maintain premises, keeping our customers’ businesses running while delivering a wide range of projects in live working environments. We deliver a range of projects from £5,000 to £25 million.

Training & Development

We offer structured development programme for all our Management Trainees. This includes bespoke technical, behavioural and professional development as well as placements with a range of core functions.

We make sure that every trainee has a great line manager as well as a peer mentor to guide you through your development at Wates. Every Line Manager is trained to ensure they support you to learn and develop every day of the job. Many of our Senior Managers and employees started their careers as Trainees, so they understand the support and development you will need at this stage in your career.

Our Values

Our core company values are reflected at every level within our Operating Framework and act as key drivers as to how we conduct ourselves, both as a business and individually.


Our relationships are built on trust. Those who work for us, and with us, have a right to be treated fairly. We will not compromise on maintaining the highest safety standards. Our reputation matters to us. We are here for the long term.


We take an intelligent approach to everything we do. We pool our skills and energies in pursuit of the best solutions.


Delivering value for our customers, partners and shareholders is the focus of our work. We work hard to generate excellent results.


We are committed to realising our vision through teamwork. Our people and our processes work together in a connected and seamless way.

Respect For People and Communities

We strive for an inclusive culture based on mutual respect. We respect each other, our suppliers, our customers, our partners, our communities and society at large. We communicate openly with each other and we listen.

Passionate about Safety

Health and safety is a primary focus for us and our goal is to be a zero harm environment.

Our health and safety success is based on a culture to which every individual’s contribution is vita l. We have practices in place to help ensure we deliver a healthy and safe workplace for all. This includes a selection of policies and procedures that set out our requirements and what we need our people to do to contribute. From our Executive Committee to our site teams, we believe everyone has the responsibility and opportunity to be safe together and create a zero harm environment.

We also have a comprehensive training programme and processes to help develop and prepare young people to take on their responsibilities for health and safety and our Health and Safety Team supports and advises our people to help ensure we deliver our plans and targets, safely.

Application Tips

Our application process is a simply 3 stages. It starts with our application form, followed by video interview and finally an opportunity to meet us at one of our Assessment Centres.

We get many applications, so it’s important you really put the time and effort in to your application to make it stand out. Each stage of the selection is assessed so we want to see you drive, motivation and enthusiasm all the way through.

To help you through the application journey, we think the below would be useful:


It’s really important you research our company and the role you’re applying for. This shows us that you understand the role and trainee scheme and that you’re really serious about joining us!

Take a look at different areas on our website, social media as well the videos of our trainees.

Take your time

The application form is the first stage and it’s a fantastic way to really demonstrate your passion for Wates and Construction. It’s also a place to showcase the great skills, experience and knowledge you can bring to Wates. Completing all this information can take some time, so we advise you take your time on the application and complete it in a quite area where you can really concentrate and focus. Don’t take too long to submit the completed application as we operate on a first come, first served basis.

Show us

What makes applications stand out from others is when people back up their skills or knowledge with good examples. For example, if you’re saying you have great skills in organising, show us an example of where you have organised yourself or others. You may have been involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme or charity work, or achievements in your part-time job or work experience.


It’s really important to check, check and re-check your application form. Make sure it makes sense and doesn’t have any spelling or grammatical errors. The best way is to have a break after completing your application and come back to it a bit later.

If you are successful and  make it through to our video interview and assessment centre stages, we will send you more guidance and tips to help you prepare.

Information for parents

As a parent/guardian we understand that you want your child to get the best start to their career. There are many options available to young people and they’ll be given lots of advice and guidance at school, but they’ll need to think about what interests them and what they want to do next.

You may have questions about our Trainee scheme and the selection process. We would encourage you to speak with your child first and ask them to contact us with any queries. We understand it can be daunting, but our recruitment team are very approachable and can guide your child through their query.

We typically start our recruitment process a year in advance and encourage applicants to submit their application sooner rather than later.

This year we are opening our application window on 22nd September 2017 for Trainees to start on our programmes in September 2018.


I don’t have a construction related degree. Can I still apply?

Yes, we accept applications from any discipline background for most of our programmes. We really want to hear from people who have a genuine passion and motivation to drive a successful career in construction.

How long will it take me to complete the application form?

On average, it should take approximately an hour to complete the application form. It consists of five questions, for which you can write a maximum of 300 words for each answer. You can save answers as you go along so you can complete it in as many sittings as you like. This will allow you more time to conduct additional research about Wates and our programmes. Don’t leave it too long though.

Do you offer industrial placements?

Yes, we have a number of places available on our year-long placement programme within our Production, Commercial and Building Services Programmes. You should be studying a relevant degree and be on track for a 2:1. Please see the application page for further details.

How long is the Management Trainee Scheme?

You will be joining us on a permanent basis. Typically, graduates complete their training scheme within two years, while apprentices take 3 – 4 years depending on what qualifications they are looking to gain.

Where and when will my assessment centre be held?

We will host assessment centres at different locations, mainly our head office in Leatherhead as well as in Birmingham and Manchester throughout November 2017 and in early 2018.

Can I apply by post or with a CV?

We want to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity to apply so we are only able to accept online applications. If you need assistance with your application please call us on 0207 061 3435 or email us.

If I’m successful, where will I be based?

We are an UK wide business. To meet our growing business demands we recruit candidates for roles across our regional business areas. Candidates need to be flexible to work on sites across the region they are assigned to. Please note that as we have UK wide opportunities we cannot guarantee where you will be based if you are made an offer. Please only select the locations you are prepared to work in or move to on your application.

Do I need a driving licence?

Yes. Most of our sites are spread out around the country with some of them not accessible by public transport. Therefore, you will have to able to drive and have access to a vehicle.

What training and development will I receive on the Management Trainee Scheme?

Throughout the Programme you gain on-the-job experience, technical and behavioural development and support to achieving Chartered Membership. You will be given the opportunity gain experience on projects to give you an insight and exposure to Wates and the industry. You will be building up your skills with top industry professionals, mentors and peers.

What salary should I expect?

We have a competitive starting salary and package for Trainees on our Management Trainee scheme ranging from £20,500 to £27,000 depending on your qualification at entry as well as the location at which you are based. In addition you are offered an excellent benefits package including private healthcare, medical insurance, pension contribution and access to our Green Car Scheme as well as 26 days paid holiday annually.

Three step selection

1) Application form

The first stage is completing the application form. is your opportunity to shine and demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm to start your career at Wates.

2) Video interview

If your application is successful, we will invite you to complete a video interview. We’ll send you all the information you need beforehand.

3) Assessment centre

If you perform well at your video interview, we’ll invite you to attend one of our assessment centres. This is your chance to learn more about Wates, as well as meet some senior Wates people. You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of activities.

We recruit on a first come, first served basis, so we would encourage you to get your applications in early. Read our application tips  before you start your application.

Upcoming Careers Fairs

Working at Wates

Viewing this website on mobile device? try clicking here instead.

Early Careers Homepage

Go To Early Careers