Associate Director

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Nick B

00:00:03 My name is Nick B, I’m a Associate Director with Halcrow, and I work as part of a contract and procurement team. Clients cannot have a bridge built, or a road laid, or a dam constructed, without procuring some form of services. The first stage of procurement is bringing on board a Designer. The next stage of the procurement will actually bring on board a Contractor to actually build the infrastructure. So procurement underpins absolutely everything in the construction industry, and in fact everything that you and I do, we procure each week when we go to Tescos. We weigh up the two options – do we go for own brand, or do we go for a branded product – and we are effectively undertaking our own procurement. So yeah, it underpins absolutely everything that we do.

00:01:44 Finding a particular career was very, very difficult. I didn’t want to progress further with my education, and really wanted to get into the – the working environment, but had absolutely no idea what job I wanted to do. But had decided within myself that I was going to leave school and get a job. As it happened, a Careers Officer from the local Job Centre had visited the school I was at, and at the time they had just introduced what was state of the arts – the BBC microcomputer – with a new bit of software that would help determine careers. The careers it was showing were plumber, carpenter, electrician, bricklayer, etcetera. But what they did have was a couple of careers – one with Railtrack as it was, now Network Rail, and one with Halcrow, where you’d be a trainee technician, with a focus on engineering. And I liked the look of this, it was a full-time job, there was an annual salary, there was paid holidays. So – I’d never had a job interview in my life, but they arranged it immediately, and I came down and had an interview with Halcrow, and have been with Halcrow now for 18 years.

00:02:14 Whilst working with Halcrow, I’d be playing non-league football where I’d be travelling to various parts of the south, either on a Tuesday night or a Saturday afternoon. And I unfortunately broke my leg and ankle, which rather curtailed my footballing career. But I had an opportunity to do a football coaching qualification. So on the back of working with Halcrow as my day job, I was doing a football coaching role working with kids, which was absolutely tremendous. The skills I learnt about dealing with people, communicating, were – were absolutely first class. But it did get to the stage where it was impacting on my working career, taking up a lot of my weekends. Well football was always a hobby, nothing more than that, it was never going to be a career, so turned all my energies and focus into developing a career with Halcrow.

00:03:15 What has been a great achievement for me personally is becoming Associate Director with Halcrow. That’s something that never in my wildest dreams did I think that that would happen at the age I am now. Certainly coming from the background that I have, without going through a traditional engineering-type route, I’m very proud of my own achievements from that perspective. Outside of work, my biggest achievement must be putting a ponytail in my daughter’s hair before she goes to Nursery. That is the most difficult thing on this planet to do. And when I take her to Nursery they go – Oh, Daddy did her hair this morning! So being able to do one good ponytail, and I’ll be fine.


Nick Betaccini is an Associate Director at Halcrow. He finds all the people and service needed to make a project happen. He found his job in school using a computer program and stayed with the company 18 years. He has worked his way up to Associate Director.

More information about Purchasing managers and directors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

66%  male 
34%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Purchasing managers and directors (not retail) plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the purchasing functions of industrial, commercial, government organisations and public agencies to ensure cost-effectiveness.
Although not restricted to a particular qualification, entry is most common with A levels/H grades, a BTEC/SQA award, S/NVQs at level 3 or above, or a degree or equivalent qualification. Off- and on-the-job training is provided and professional qualifications are available. Chartered status may also be achieved.
  • Determines what goods, services and equipment need to be sourced;
  • Devises purchasing policies, decides on whether orders should be put out to tender and evaluates suppliers’ bids;
  • Negotiates prices and contracts with suppliers and draws up contract documents;
  • Arranges for quality checks of incoming goods and ensures suppliers deliver on time;
  • Interviews suppliers’ representatives and visits trade fairs;
  • Researches and identifies new products and suppliers;
  • Stays abreast of and ensures adherence to relevant legislation regarding tendering and procurement procedures.
Employment by region
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Wholesale trade 7469
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Retail trade 4581
Head offices, etc 4578
Architectural & related 3727
Specialised construction 3267
Public admin. & defence 2763
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Other trans. equipment 2069
Real estate 1777
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