Senior Estimator - UK Projects

Location: Birmingham

About Colas Ltd

Colas Ltd are a UK subsidiary of the global Colas Group, which operates in over 50 countries worldwide and employs over 55,000 people. We are specialists in highways construction and have been involved in large scale UK and international construction projects within the highways, airfields and marine sectors as well as offering highways maintenance services and manufacturing our own innovative surfacing products. We hold a ‘Gold Investor in People’ award for continuously developing and rewarding our employees, offering excellent career potential.

Colas UK Projects delivers major transport infrastructure solutions in the UK, Ireland and internationally. Our huge global expertise alongside the strength of our UK in-house specialist teams, local manufacturing and 96-year knowledge base and experience, brings a unique mix of local specialists and global resources to projects. Working with Colas will give you access to an unrivalled international community of research and development engineers and other world-class experts.

About the Role

We are currently recruiting for a Senior Estimator to join our UK Projects division to work closely with the Lead Estimator and the Pre-construction team and other members of the bid and operational team in the preparation of tenders.

The Senior Estimator role involves building up estimate rates from first principals, costing and allocation of preliminary resources, contributing to and producing risk and opportunity registers as well as any other necessary commercial requirements whilst preparing the tender submission.

You will be expected to work on a wide variety of tenders including but limited to; Civil Engineering projects, term maintenance contracts, highway infrastructure works, airport projects and other areas of the Colas business as and when necessary.

Other essential parts of the role are to have an active day to day relationship with the Operational team and the Planner to fully focus on the most commercially advantageous solution with a balanced approach to risk for Colas to secure the contract.

You will also be working very closely with the procurement department both at tender stage through to contract award to help select sub-contractors and material suppliers. You may also to be involved with the mobilisation of contracts and have an input into the day to day running of projects once they have been awarded.

Contribution will also be required to help produce tender quality document as the Senior Estimator will understand the fundamental elements of the project and hold vital key information which may help with the quality scoring of the tender

Key Accountabilities:

  • To work closely with the Lead Estimator and the Pre-Construction Manager and other members of the bid and operational team in the preparation of tenders required to meet the company strategy.
  • The Senior Estimator will carry out estimating duties for all tender work, as directed by the Lead Estimator or Pre-construction Manager in the Lead Estimators absence.
  • This will include but not limited to, analysis of tender documentation, take off of quantities, use of Causeway to create tender prices, development of activity rates and build ups from first principals, issuing of subcontract enquiries in collaboration with the Procurement team, assessment of subcontract quotations in consultation with operational, technical and procurement staff, completion of prelims books and tender commission papers in line with the tendered strategy.
  • The Senior Estimator will be expected to be able take a lead role in the preparation and submission of the tender quality submission as required. They will be required to operate autonomously under their own initiative on some tenders and as part of a wider team on larger tenders.
  • The Senior Estimator will participate in tender handover meeting following success and tender debrief sessions whether the tender is successful or unsuccessful.
  • The Senior Estimator will participate in post contract review meeting to receive feedback on tender assumptions and their validity within the delivery of the project.
  • Develop long-term relationships with others as required in, supply chain and other partner organisations to maximise tender efficiency.
  • Liaise well with all members of the estimating and commercial teams to maintain synergy in the company’s approach to these activities.
  • Maintain an up to date awareness of activities and standards within Colas’ business sectors as they relate to this appointment.
  • Carry out all duties and responsibilities in a manner that supports the Company Values, Beliefs, Vision and Mission.
  • Demonstrate appropriate experience, training and qualifications for the post.
  • Preparation of priced tender submissions, estimates and quotations required to meet the company strategy.
  • Work closely with the Lead Estimator to ensure consistent and effective estimating practices are used across the business unit’s tender activity.
  • Conduct all duties and responsibilities in a manner that appropriately and adequately supports business unit operating across the country.
  • Work closely with the commercial team and operational staff to ensure delivery of the tender proposals through secured contracts and to facilitate an effective learning loop between tender proposals and contract delivery to inform future tender/contract arrangements.
  • Collaborate closely with the Lead Estimator and Pre-Construction Manager to measure the effectiveness of the estimating service through a small number of specific and focused performance indicators.
  • Work with Lead Estimator and Pre-Construction Manager to continuously improve the estimating service through innovation, lessons learned and best practice knowledge supported by demonstrable evidence of such improvement.


As well as a highly competitive salary, Colas are also offering some great benefits with this role, which include:

  • Competitive pension contribution
  • Company car or car allowance
  • 25 days annual leave per annum + the option to buy or sell up to 5 days annual leave
  • Flexible working
  • Opportunity to study towards a professional qualification fully funded
  • Ongoing training, and personal professional development
  • Discounts on car leasing, holidays, cinema tickets, restaurants and much more through our online employee benefits portal


About you

The successful candidate will have extensive experience in a Senior Estimator role in a Civil Engineering or infrastructure industry and have experience of successfully estimating / bidding a number of important sizeable contracts in the provision of transport infrastructure or civil engineering services. 

You will also have:

  • Knowledge of the construction industry and its key processes including design
  • Previous experience in estimating related to asphalt and / or concrete paving
  • Experience in completing complex tenders on time, to the required quality standards.
  • All round technical understanding
  • Experience of managing supply chain input into the tender process
  • Understanding and inclusion of stakeholder requirements
  • Experience of build-up of rates from first principles
  • Be able to demonstrable track record of success in the work winning environment
  • Strong commitment to Health & Safety, Business Improvement, Quality and Environmental principles
  • Commercial understanding of all aspects tender development
  • Understanding and awareness of good customer service principles and practice.
  • Ability to identify and implement effective business management processes


Colas is fully committed to promoting equality and diversity and maintaining a culture of fairness, transparency and respect for all employees, clients, communities, suppliers, contractors and other stakeholders. Colas aims to be inclusive, meet diverse needs and promote awareness and ownership in the workplace and the communities in which we serve.

Colas values the strength and differences that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation and believes that by harnessing these differences, we will foster a productive environment where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic, where talents are being fully utilised and organisational goals are met.

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Equal Opportunities

We are committed to being an Equal Opportunities Employer. We wish to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and appointed solely on their suitability for the post.

The equal opportunities information requested is strictly confidential and for monitoring purposes only. The information will be stored securely in line with the Colas Limited Candidate Privacy Notice and kept separate from the information used in recruitment decisions.

The Equality Act defines a disability as “A physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”. To be protected by the Act an individual must therefore have: • A long term physical or mental impairment (lasting or likely to last for 12 months or more) and • A condition that has a substantial adverse impact on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities

In submitting this application, I acknowledge that I have read and understood Colas Limited’s Candidate Privacy Notice