Alex Goodfellow, group managing director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems, tells Construction News exactly why he loves construction.
Q. How did you get into the industry?
A. I’ve always been fascinated by great architecture and one of my first roles was as an architectural technician with Walker Homes. My career progressed to chief architect with Beazer Homes and then I was approached by the Stewart Milne Group which develops both homes and, through Stewart Milne Timber Systems, the high tech timber systems designed to meet very high performance standards.
Here I saw the opportunity to expand my experience and over the years I’ve been fortunate to benefit from a company that believes in harnessing the abilities of its team and creating the environment in which to thrive.
Q. What is the best thing about construction?
A. I believe that new housing can be designed both as great buildings and great homes and from my role as technical director through to managing director of Stewart Milne Homes Central, and now group managing director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems, I’ve had the opportunity to influence and shape some great homes.
Over the years standards have risen significantly and the level of technical expertise within our business is testament to the innovative approach we take to meet customer needs.
Q. If you could change one thing what would it be?
A. I don’t think the industry is great at self promotion. Great strides have been made, but more could be done to demonstrate just how much expertise is expended in delivering today’s homes and commercial buildings.
Naturally, I’d also like to change the habits of building in masonry and enable more house builders and contractors to reap the very tangible benefits of timber systems.
Q. How should we encourage young people to join the industry?
A. We need to engage young people as early as possible. Not many young people realise the diverse career paths that construction offers. It’s an exciting and innovative industry today, highly technical, creative with roles to suit a variety of skills and abilities.
Apprenticeships and trainee schemes are key, along with work placements and internships, to give students an insight while they are still deciding on a career path.