William Simpson – A Personal Journey into Construction Management
Today I am enjoying designing and writing online construction management and supervisory training courses. If I had been able to look into the future as a teenage hod carrier, having not made the most of my school years, I would not have recognised myself as I am now and would certainly not have understood the journey or the skill set which experience, practice and learning would have given me!
Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. My journey has equipped and enabled me to assist in excess of 400 management candidates (between 2011-2016) to achieve management status. It has also enabled me to assist countless trade and supervisor candidates to achieve professional status and has been instrumental in the production of company development plans, enabling construction companies to double and treble their annual turn over. Below is a snap shot of my journey:
I’ve had over 40 years experience in the construction industry, and counting, starting working full time for my Father in his floor and wall tiling business aged 16 and before that from the age of 14 during my school holidays. At seventeen I started as a brick layers labourer and after a lot of hard work gained good insights into the building industry, having made the transition from brick layer’s labourer (hod carrier) to brick layer by the age of twenty. By the age of twenty four I had laid bricks on just about every kind of development possible and had even spent nine months teaching, passing on my skills to disadvantaged young men and women.
A pattern soon emerged in my working life and one which is still being pursued currently, which is one of development, both for myself and others, which later evolved into a Company Development Manager position and now company development consultant and e-learning course provide and management mentor, but this did not happen over night.
I survived the 90’s recession by trading as a small maintenance company, having picked up the skills of a decorator, plasterer and carpenter in the previous ten years and then gingerly moved into management for the first time. I believe it is to be noted that at this point in my career, I had not one qualification and without a single qualification, in 1998, I applied to University as I had felt that there was something more to me other than just manual work, and they let me in! I graduated with an Honours Degree three years later and in that time, I learnt how to learn!
Following on from University I quickly gained the qualifications for my construction working career through the NVQ system, gaining an Advanced Brick Laying NVQ III through the EWAPR and again an NVQ III in Learning and Development, which gave me my route to be a Construction Skills and Management Assessor.
Whilst I was doing these NVQ’s, I was also gaining years of valuable experience as a Construction Manager on major developments, starting as a Finishing Foreman and finishing my Management Career some years later as a Senior Construction Manager, having spent some time in customer care. I then moved full time into assessing and teaching construction skills and management until Jan 2009 when the government cuts stopped play and I then became fully employed as a Company Development Manager/Consultant, managing the training, H&S and marketing for several companies that I had worked with when qualifying their work forces through the NVQ accreditation system.
I have enjoyed my journey and it is one that I am still on. Today I am using the learning and writing skills gained at University and amalgamating those skills with my working history (story) to produce cutting edge products and services to assist developing construction professionals and companies. I fully recognise that most construction management learners are not academics but they aim to hold a professional position by gaining professional qualifications and on site experience. My courses are designed specifically to assist non academic professionals to gain professional status.
I hope my journey and experience will be continued to be used as a stepping stone, assisting others to attain their maximum potential in less time than it has taken me!
Many thanks for reading.