Matt King first joined Ian Williams as an apprentice at 17 years old and became a fully-fledged carpenter in 2018. Within two years, he was appointed to Carpentry Foreperson and with the support of the business, continues his work-based training to gain further qualifications in his field.
In this short interview, Matt explains more about his experience:
What is your current role and what are your main responsibilities?
I am a Carpenter Foreperson in Bristol undertaking FRA works, which includes compartmentation breaches, replacement fire door sets and safety breaches across two different sites of a steam engineering warehouse. There are two operatives on site to manage as well as ensuring all the materials we need are available, health and safety and other work records are kept, and regular reporting back to the client including completing their monthly finance document. In addition to this specific job, I help to manage the local FRA team in Bristol and Swindon, which comprises seven operatives.
What has your career looked like since joining the company?
I joined as an apprentice at 17 working with different forepersons to learn and develop carpentry skills. We worked on different contracts, but most memorably a contract for the MOD fitting kitchens into their houses.
Upon qualification. I continued developing as a carpenter and was slowly given more responsibility, while being supported in an environment that encouraged me to learn more about the management side of the business, like understanding how to communicate at different levels with clients.
I obtained formal training like the Site Supervision Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS) qualification, PASMA training, and emergency first aid, as well as on the job coaching which enabled me to become a foreperson within two years of finishing my apprenticeship.
I have worked on various contracts, like complex loss / insurance work for a waste management company in Yeovil where I managed four Ian Williams operatives, as well as specialist subcontractors for scaffolding, mechanical and steel fabricating. In Swindon, we’re carrying out a large voids project where I oversee teams of operatives working in the area, managing labour and materials on site, making sure targets are met and health and safety is adhered to. I also deal with surveyors, and manage and communicate any potential contract variations.
I have appraisals twice a year, the format of which I am now applying to support the development of others who have expressed a desire to progress. I am also about to start bespoke IW Academy in-house Contracts’ Manager training which will help with progressing to the next stage of my career.
What are your career ambitions for the future with Ian Williams?
I am hoping to become a Supervisor/Contracts’ Manager, taking on more responsibility and managing contracts from start to finish. I have observed the career progression of my peers and would like to follow the same path. Ian Williams is great at giving people these opportunities.
What factors or elements have influenced you in wanting to stay with Ian Williams?
The team at Ian Williams are great from the teams on site, to the people in the office. They are supportive and want you to succeed, offering for example, appropriate coaching and training. I have been able to shadow a Contracts’ Manager, learning more about the day-to-day role. There is also a good variation of works from small to very large projects and an opportunity to work in different environments. I’d particularly like to do more work in the insurance sector too.
Anything else you would like to add?
I am enjoying the added responsibility and the wider support I get from other people in the business, not just my direct team. I can’t underline enough how much Ian Williams wants its people to succeed and supports us 100% in getting to where we want to be within the business.
If you’d like to work for a company that invests in your ongoing career development, visit: https://careers.ianwilliams.co.uk/ to find out more about our current vacancies or to send us a speculative application.