Jordan McAuley is taking his first steps into construction with a Diamond Build apprenticeship. Now training to be a site manager, Jordan is gaining practical skills and knowledge with our team while studying for a degree in Construction Management.
Here, he discusses his journey so far and offers advice to others thinking of following a similar path into the industry.
Have you always wanted to work in construction?
Before joining Diamond Build, I was working at Lidl part time while attending college to complete a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Business. Soon after, I began working more hours at Lidl while thinking about my career options.
The education choices I’d made in previous years led me to consider different sectors that you had to go to university for. Although this was something I wanted to do, I was also concerned about having to completely stop working.
After researching and speaking with those who work in construction, I decided to pursue it as a career. I felt the industry would offer me a new and challenging field with plenty of opportunities.
Why did you choose to work in site management?
I was attracted to site management because of the chance to meet and learn from a variety of people including managers, tradespeople and clients. The role enables me to learn about all aspects of working on site, providing me with a broad range of skills which will help me succeed in construction. The job also means I can work within London and in different environments, both on and off site.
Can you describe a typical day?
At the moment, a typical day involves me working at Diamond Build’s head office working across departments designed to help me build a wider knowledge of the construction industry.
So far, I’ve spent most of my apprenticeship working in the procurement department. I’ve helped to research and manage our suppliers, ordering materials and plant for site projects, prioritising price and availability. This is a good experience for me as I’m learning how to build relationships with site managers and suppliers while gaining a better understanding of the range of materials and equipment used for works. This knowledge will hopefully make my transition into management easier.
Throughout the day, I’ll also speak with my line manager and those working around me to learn about the work they’re doing and how it relates to my own role.
What are you enjoying most about your role?
I really enjoy working with the different departments at Diamond Build, which is allowing me to build a well-rounded understanding of how each area works. As well as the experience I’ve gained in the procurement department, I’ve also completed research involving our internal subcontractor database, and assisted with the landscaping for our Stamford Road project, a large mixed-used scheme which will become our new head office.
I’ll soon be working in the accounts department to see how the financial processes of the business operate, as well as the estimating and bid and marketing departments to understand the work-winning stage of how we promote the business, price and programme the works at tender stage to secure new projects.
I also get to spend a day each week at university learning the theoretical side of construction and getting the chance to speak with other apprentices at different companies. Being able to combine on the job experience with education is enjoyable for me.
What advice would you give to others thinking about a career in construction and/or site management?
My advice would be to go for it! It’s an interesting field where you’ll get to work in different locations on projects with many different people. There are many opportunities to develop and progress so there’s no risk of the work becoming dull.
For anyone who is completely new to construction like I was, I would also recommend building strong relationships with your managers and colleagues. They’re the people who will be guiding you through your training and if you ask plenty of questions, you’ll soon build confidence and be well on your way to a successful career in construction.