Louise Riley, area manager at Jewson, tells us why she loves construction.
How did you get into the industry?
Purely by accident – I was working part time and looking for full time work.
The local Jewson branch manager socialised in the same group of people as me and asked me one day if I wanted to apply to become an administrator’s assistant at Jewson – obviously I said yes. That was in 1989.
What is the best thing about construction?
The people – customers, staff and colleagues.
If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?
We seem to be losing specialist trades and subsequently apprenticeships; builders are becoming more generalist which could affect the lifespan of some specialist construction professions.
We need to make younger people aware of the breadth of opportunities within the trade, encourage specialisms again and continue to invest in developing great skill sets.
How should we encourage young people to join the industry?
More often than not they just need an opportunity. We should link in with local communities, schools and colleges.
It is important for construction companies to attend careers days, invite them into the business for a “look and see”, offer work experience and build a relationship with the local job centres – they have loads of young people looking for work.
Louise Riley is area manager at Jewson