Trainee site manager
Nathan has been around construction his whole life. His dad and uncle both work in the industry. He’s also had construction jobs himself, working on mechanical and electrical engineering, plumbing, domestic work, office space fit-outs and some civil engineering and surveying.
He’s now with McLaren as a trainee site manager with a long career ahead of him in the industry.
|School||Redden Court School, Harold Wood|
|College||Barking and Dagenham College: Level 4 Apprenticeship in Construction Management|
|McLaren sponsored Higher Education||Level 4 in Construction Management|
It was a three-week work experience placement at a large contractor that opened Nathan’s eyes to a career in construction management rather than working on the tools. That placement helped him understand more about three possible careers on construction: civil engineering, site management and quantity surveying. The experience led him to choose construction management.
At school, Nathan picked construction tech and did a product design course on the side – great preparation for a two-year HNC at Barking and Dagenham College studying the built environment.
At that point he could choose between a full-time degree or an apprenticeship. To keep his options open, he secured a university place and applied for a few apprenticeship roles – finally opting for the apprenticeship offered by McLaren Construction.
“There’s no guarantee of a job after university and all the debt over your head when you’ve finished,” says Nathan. “It’s better to get the knowledge as you work.”
His interview was more of a friendly chat than a formal interview, exploring his experience of working on the tools and how to translate that knowledge into a career in construction management.
After college on Mondays, Nathan spends the rest of the week dealing with anything that comes up on site. Safety is an important part of his work – how to manage and plan potentially dangerous activities so that no-one gets hurt. Everything he does has a safety element.
His mentor and colleagues on site have helped him understand the technical drawings he needs to work with each day and visualise the work that needs to be done. He enjoys being able to talk to people. “There’s no such thing as a stupid question, because they know they asked the same ones ten or 15 years ago,” he explains.
Nathan hopes to be a full site manager or senior site manager within ten years.