The pressures on the a trades person today to be qualified and to be able to provide the correct health and safety documentation are on the increase and I recognise that being a skilled trades person is not enough to guarantee continued employment. I believed when I was younger that being skilled would guarantee employment, but that just simply just isn’t the case.
Whether as a sole trader or small business, one has to acquire professional expertise in Health and Safety documentation and practices and gain professional qualifications for the current position or services offered. Adding and sourcing these requirements is often perplexing, costly and time consuming and this has become my area of expertise.
Over the years I have faced and overcome these problems of development, through necessity, and has made it my goal to help others save time, vastly reducing training costs and providing the ‘Know How’, learned over many years through my working history in the construction industry.
I’ve had just over 36 years experience in the construction industry, 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 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 would eventually evolve into a Company Development Manager position and now company development consultant.
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. In 1998 I applied to University as I had felt that there was something more to me other than just manual work — I graduated with an Honors Degree June 2000.
Following this 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 since that time, I have been more than fully employed as a Company Development Manager/Consultant, managing the training, H&S and marketing for several companies.
In the eighties our industry changed. Health and Safety became an issue and the pressure on site managers to build, run and organise their sites and manage H&S and sub-contractors became the norm, leading many managers to early retirement through stress related illnesses. In recent years there has been another shift in the industry, a shift which is demanding new expertise and time. It is now recognised that for a company to progress onto the local authority and leading company tender lists; CHAS, EXOR, Construction-line and Safe-contractor accreditations are now required. The catch phrase is: ‘Supply Chain Accreditation and Compliance Services’.
These are Health and Safety vetting schemes which register the degree in which a company handles its’ training, safety management and environmental practices and policies, in order to forward that company to prospective clients. These schemes also include an indepth survey of the auditing of sub-contractor’s professional qualifications and health and safety practices and this accounts in part for the added legistical burden placed on the small contractor or sole traders presently.
I believe the services and products we at RivaSure are able to provide are there to assist any construction worker or company to achieve their maximum professional and financial potential.