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Project Director
Halcrow

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Steve S

00:00:04 Hello, my name’s Steven Swain, I’m a Project Director with Halcrow. Project Director is responsible for delivery of our projects to our clients, to the satisfaction of the clients, and also to give a commercial return to Halcrow as a company. With regards to the internal aspects of my job, it would be the management of the design team, the management of the resources and the capabilities of Halcrow – be they the direct people that I work with, or be they other parts of the organisation that have particular expertise.

00:00:37 My favourite projects throughout my career have been those which have involved team work. I enjoy working with people, I enjoy leading teams. Again, with Halcrow I have worked with some great teams. The last 18 months I’ve spent in Qatar, and we had a great team of people. We had four different companies that we were working with, in that we were leading the design effort for the client, and we had 29 design teams, in 25 design locations, across 15 design disciplines, in 11 time zones across the world. So that in itself was a challenge. And I’ve worked a bit in the nuclear industry, and again using a team of people from different companies, and bringing them together and getting a team ethic is challenging, but it’s also very rewarding whenever it happens.

00:02:18 I’ve had a very varied career, and I think if I look back on it there have been – I’ve been given opportunities at various stages in my career, and those opportunities have – would have been very easy to ignore. I was at college – and for the first year, doing a degree, and enjoyed college life much too much, and did not get the necessary pass levels to go on to the second year, and had to leave. A college lecturer managed to take the time out, and come to the house and talk to me. At that time I’d decided I was going to be a Car Salesman, because I liked cars, and there was a garage just down the road from us. He talked to me, and he talked to me for an hour. He didn’t force me, he believed that I had the capabilities to get a qualification. And he said – that’s fine, there’s a place for you, the course starts Thursday in two weeks. If you’re sitting behind a desk I’ll know you’ll have accepted, and if you’re not sitting behind a desk I’ll know you’re selling cars. So that guy, and I still remember his name – Billy Given – was a turning point. I took the opportunity that he gave me, and I went and got my HND.

00:02:49 If you look back on your life you do have ups and downs throughout your life. I think if I had one regret, I would say that I have perhaps not worked hard enough to fulfil my potential. But that would have taken me down a particular route of perhaps not having the enjoyment in the good times that I’ve had. I wouldn’t change anything in my life. I’ve had some great times, I’ve been given great opportunities and, looking back is – it’s fine, you can learn from looking back. I’d much rather look forward and see what’s happening in the next five to ten years.

00:03:23 If I could work on a historic project, an iconic project that was going to happen, some of these projects that are happening in Dubai, which are phenomenal. Looking closer to home, there’s a new crossing across the River Forth, which is planned. It’s likely to be a bridge. I have no bridge experience whatsoever in my life, but it is 20 minutes from my house, it’s right next to the Forth rail bridge, which is an iconic project, and to finish your career working on a project like that, I think, would just be the icing on the cake.

00:04:00 ENDS

 

Stephen Swain is a Project Director with engineering company Halcrow. He leads big international teams on engineering projects around the world. He failed some university exams and nearly ended up selling cars but a college lecturer talked him into a civil engineering course. Now he wants to build a new bridge across the Forth.

More information about Production managers and directors in construction

Check out 11 videos about this career

Data powered by LMI For All
£52,000
average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

42
average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

90%  male  10%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Description

Production managers and directors in construction direct and co-ordinate resources for the construction and maintenance of civil and structural engineering works including houses, flats, factories, roads and runways, bridges, tunnels and railway works, harbour, dock and marine works and water supply, drainage and sewage works.

Qualifications

There are no pre-set entry standards. Entry is possible with either a degree or equivalent qualification and/or relevant experience, via apprenticeships or S/NVQs in Management at levels 3 to 5. On-the-job training is provided and professional qualifications are available.

Tasks

  • Liaises with other managers to plan overall production activity and construction activities, sets quality standards and estimates timescales and costs;
  • Receives invitations to tender, arranges for estimates and liaises with client, architect and engineers for the preparation of contracts;
  • Plans, directs and co-ordinates the construction and maintenance of civil and structural engineering works, including demolition, open-cast mining works and pipeline and piling;
  • Receives reports upon work in progress to ensure that materials and construction methods meet with specifications and statutory requirements and that there are no deviations from agreed plans.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Specialised construction 48375
Construction 45797
Architectural & related 20103
Civil engineering 16625
Real estate 9987
Services to buildings 7062
Education 5681
Wholesale trade 5201
Head offices, etc 4243
Warehousing, etc 2615
Employment status

Restoration and Repair Manager
E.ON

Steve S

0:00:02 My name’s Steve S. I’m the restoration and repairs manager. I’m based at Morgreen Delivery Centre working for Central Networks, which is part of the Eon Group. Our function primarily is to keep the lights on. The area and the regions that we cover are Nottinghamshire, the whole of Nottinghamshire and the whole of Derbyshire. So every customer that’s connected, we have a responsibility to keep their lights on. And when their lights do go out, my team goes out and fixes it and gets people back on as quickly as possible.

00:00:32 In all honestly I wasn’t probably the most academic person while I was at school and my sort of pastimes or the things I enjoyed most at school were sort of physical education, PE, sports, that kind of thing. I left school in 1985 and we had what we called a Youth Training Scheme or the Government had a Youth Training Scheme that was set up there and I went to the Chamber of Commerce, told them that I would like to work with computers and they came up with a placement at what was then EMEB, East Midlands Electricity Board.

00:01:08 A year’s placement which I took on. I was still unsure as what I wanted but I started maturing then and after that first year I was fortunate to get a permanent post. It was probably a couple of years later when I spent some time in the engineering department where I actually decided that’s the career path that I wanted to take. And I thought, ‘yeah, this is the time then. I need to try and get some further qualification under my belt and start being serious about my career path’. And that’s what I did.

00:01:39 I was aware of the people that came onto the YTS, the Youth Training Scheme, before me and there were a number that were sort of overlapping and overtaking and progressing their careers quicker than me and it got to the stage where I thought, ‘oh, I’m not really getting anywhere here’. That was one motivational aspect. Two, I saw what the engineers did. The work looked very interesting and because of those things it was something that I would say appealed to me.

00:02:10 Going back to 2000, the year 2000, we had quite a significant change in the business. I was a third engineer as it was known then and I remember at the time I wanted to be a second engineer and we were all counselled. And on the form, you had to put three choices of what you wanted to do. And I always remember the manager at the time sort of saying to me, ‘you’ve got your third choice. It’s up to you if want to take it but I believe the way the business is shaping up, within the next two or three years, you will be a second engineer as a program manager. Not in the line that you want to but as a program manager, if that’s the route that you wanted to take. And that sort of steered me, you know, on a slightly different career path. A managerial path which has then sort of led me to where I am now ultimately I guess.

00:02:57 At school, I do have regrets. I wish I’d tried harder. If I had tried harder, the work that I have done after school would have…I wouldn’t have needed to have done it. I spent three years at college getting O-levels which, if I’d got my head down at school, I could have saved myself three years of time. But I had to get that in order to get onto the ONC which I wanted to do to become an engineer. So that’s a big regret. At school I could have tried a lot harder and it would have saved me a lot of pain after school.

ENDS

Steve S is a Restoration and Repairs Manager for E.ON. His team's job is to keep people's lights on. He regrets not trying harder at school, because he had to spend three years getting O levels at college before he could start an engineering course.

More information about Skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades supervisors

Data powered by LMI For All
£41,080
average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

43
average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

97%  male  3%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Description

Skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades supervisors oversee operations and directly supervise and coordinate the activities of workers in skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades.

Qualifications

Academic qualifications may not be required, though some GCSEs/S grades or an equivalent qualification may be an advantage. NVQs/SVQs are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Apprenticeships combining practical work experience and technical training would be required together with significant, relevant work experience.

Tasks

  • Directly supervises and coordinates the activities of skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades workers;
  • Establishes and monitors work schedules to meet productivity requirements;
  • Liaises with managers and other departments and contractors to resolve operational problems;
  • Determines or recommends staffing and other needs to meet productivity requirements;
  • Reports as required to managerial staff on departmental activities.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Sale of motor vehicles 11839
Construction 6029
Metal products 2494
Specialised construction 1959
Retail trade 1866
Furniture 1617
Real estate 1298
Machinery, etc 1210
Wholesale trade 1122
Waste management 1054
Employment status