00:01 My name’s John W I’m a project director for Bouygues construction I’ve worked with them for 2 years in their schools market. My role at the moment as project director is to lead Building Schools for the Future projects and bids, so I pull together the complete consortium which can include facilities management, construction, finance and present an offer in to a local authority that hopefully we become the preferred partner of choice to deliver the schools programme for them, for their entire secondary school estate.
00:30 Our company got involved in Transformation Trust I believe as a founder member and that was led by our comms team, who decided it was important part of being involved in Building Schools for the Future, but my background’s always been in construction.
00:44 When I was at school it wasn’t necessarily something I’d thought of directly getting involved in but indirectly my father got involved in construction, he started doing up derelict properties and in the summer holidays I was sort of helping out and found it quite interesting but at that stage didn’t think of doing it as a career and, it was only when I got to the stage where I was doing A levels and thinking well actually what do I want to do, I didn’t achieve the best grades at A levels and then went off to university and luckily got offered a course in civil engineering and thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn’t something I’d thought about doing it wasn’t really on the radar and then when I got to university met more people obviously on the course and got to know them, got to know what they were thinking of doing and then really from there it just led on in to construction.
01:28 I’d thought about joining the forces for a while but then when I left with my qualification and was sort of weighing up the options moving into construction with what was a relatively good salary was slightly more attractive at the time. Did that and really have just evolved through joining various companies at various points in time.
01:47 There was no expectation from my parents that I would or wouldn’t go to university I think like most parents they would prefer that I went on and did further studies but I think it’s not a generational thing, my father never went to university and my mother didn’t. I went to a school where it was almost expected I ended up going to a boys grammar school where it was anticipated that you would, you know you would do your academic studies, you’d get good qualifications and you would go to university.
02:15 I applied specifically for graduate placements and I think a couple of weeks went by and felt a bit disheartened and you think there’s nothing out there and someone who I was talking to at the time said, apply for everything, everything, so I picked up all the trade journals and applied for every job in there, no matter what level and it was a strategy that paid off, I actually got a number of responses back from companies, ranging from, you know people like the caravan club to the construction company I first worked for which was a concrete frame contractor.
02:44 Started as an engineer on site, line and level and, remember being there one September freezing cold, rain, and asked if I could use a computer and I’m not saying I lied but elaborated with the truth a little and thought, it’s freezing, yes I can use a computer and went in and started doing planning engineering.
03:02 I looked at the jobs that were available for main contractors and at that time planning was in demand, learned a little bit more about the packages I was using and applied for a job with a main contractor.
03:13 It’s more important to enjoy what you do and who you work with than anything else, I think you’ve got to get a sense of enjoyment out of what you do at work, otherwise it can become fairly soul destroying and I enjoyed going home at the weekends and telling people what I was doing, or sometimes actually not even getting home at the weekends because the work life balance in construction sometimes isn’t great and I think the other challenge that I enjoyed is you have to be the one who solves the problems you can’t rely on someone else to solve your problems for you.
03:46 Occasionally I do think I’d rather be back on site, I think the enjoyable aspect of being on site is the immediate camaraderie and there’s a very defined goal and I think the best times on site are almost unbeatable.