“Im ace at my job but I can’t seem to move up”. What are career developments skills.

When I talk to people about development skills a few questions inevitably arise, such as “what are they?” and “Why do they matter?” I’m going to attempt to answer these questions and a few more in this post. We define development skills as the skill set required to progress and be

We define development skills as the skill set required to progress and be recognised within your career. Though your ability to do your job is obviously part of this, there is a set of skills that are common to nearly every role. The absence or presence of these skills has a real bearing on just how far you will go within an organisation.

 

So let’s start by looking at what development skills actually are,

 

  1. Important.

    Development skills do not get the attention they deserve. We focus on teaching people how to do the job, not how to ensure they are valued for the work they do. This matters as some groups of people (particularly those from upper-middle-class backgrounds) are more likely to be exposed to these skills through family and experience, than others. This can see people who are not aware of these skills, working hard without being rewarded, leading to organisations that often miss out on employing or promoting the best people for the job.

 

  1. Skills.

    Development skills are just that, skills. They are things that can be learnt, practised and improved. I believe that we have considered these things as a personality type for too long, leaving people afraid to consider the impact and value they could have on progression and development. By seeing them for what they are, skills, we can start to take better control of our careers.

 

  1. Learnt.

    Most everything we know and do is learnt behaviour. Some of this comes from society, some from our parent’s, others from school and employment. So it stands to reason that if we can learn it, we can relearn it. For example, It might feel that your lack of confidence in your salary review is just part of who you are, but it’s much more likely that it’s a response to not having had your ideas listened to or being felt valued. Although it certainly won’t always be easy, it is defiantly possible to address and change these behaviours to enable you to take control of your career.

 

  1. Achievable.

    Some developments skills are difficult to master while others are ridiculously achievable. One of our delegates saw an immediate change in the way they were viewed by their colleagues when they simply stopped criticising their own work before others had a chance to form an opinion on it. Like many things, it is not one big change that will make a difference but a series of smaller changes geared towards a similar aim. That’s why we have created a process that helps you to understand the areas you need to develop and be really clear about how well you are developing them.

 

 

Our vision for Constructing Careers is to ensure that organisations get the best person for the job by giving people the skills they need to ensure their value is recognised. Our weekly blogs, newsletters, workshops and supporting applications are all designed to do that. So whatever your position or ambition get in touch to find out how we can help you.

We have been running career progression courses in-house for large organisations such as ISG, Vinci and Sisk for over ten years. These course have received exemplary feedback with over 80% of delegates going on to promotion within 12 months and 100% of delegates finding the course met or exceeded expectaions.

 

For the first time we have just made our one day, two day and weekend spa courses available for public booking in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.

What they say –

“Chrissi delivers great workshops that provide a very good insight and essential awareness to career progression. She delivers the course in an engaging manner and enables participants to set achievable goals that can set them on to a good start on career progression straight away.”

Denitza Moreau. Senior Design Manager at Skanska

Anwyl Construction Apprentice Case Study

Anwyl Construction Apprentice Case Study – Matthew has never let dyslexia hold him back from success

Matthew Allport - Anwyl Construction Case Study (1) CG 20.2.15Mathew Allport began his career on placement with Anwyl Construction as an apprentice Joiner at just 16 years old. Upon completion of the three year apprenticeship, Matthew was offered a full time Joinery position at Anwyl largely due to his positive work ethic and good workmanship.

Since joining Anwyl Construction in 2006 Matthew has excelled completing a number of training courses to further his knowledge and understanding of Joinery.

Matthew approached Anwyl in 2008 after deciding he wanted to continue at Llandrillo College to complete an Advanced Joinery Course. Despite being challenged with dyslexia, Matthew never let this become a barrier to his learning.

Due to Matthews’s ongoing commitment and hard work, Anwyl offered to support him though the twelve month course, which then progressed onto a three year Assistant Site Managers course solely funded by Anwyl. This funding however was on the basis that Matthew not only passed, but achieved an overall merit every year as an incentive for him to continue to achieve greatness.

Matthew said: ‘’Getting to this stage in my career hasn’t been the easiest ride for me; I am dyslexic. Like for many others completing exams, creating assignments and devising presentations has always been more of a challenge. However, despite this barrier, the support and understanding of class peers, tutors and work colleagues has enabled me to make notable strides in my career.

Matthew completed the course with an overall Merit of achievement in 2012, however he chose not to stop there, Matthew decided he wanted to gain a degree in Construction Science Undergraduate Degree to enhance and further his knowledge and experience in the industry, with the intention of one day becoming a Site Manager. Anwyl again chose to support and fully fund Matthew through his degree, astounded by his eagerness to learn and develop.

Matthew has now graduated with a 2:2 qualification in Construction Science Undergraduate Degree and is working full time as an Assistant Site Manager, Matthew however continues to show his dedication to Anwyl and eagerness to learn, whereby he plans to undertake a Masters Degree in Construction. Anwyl hopes to promote and progress Matthew to Senior Site Manager within the next two years.

Matthew said: ‘’As they say you never stop learning and I’m sure I never will; within my new role of Assistant Site Manager I predict new challenges lie ahead. In spite of this, I look forward to gaining new knowledge and continuing to achieve’’.

Over the years Matthew has gained a wealth of skills and experience working with Anwyl Construction on projects as large as £8,000,000.00.

Matthew also managed his own site at Marian Mawr in Dolgellau for Grwp Llandrillo Menai, the College in which he completed 9 years of studies. Matthew was responsible for fifteen on site operatives over the course of nine months. As a project for Grwp Llandrillo Menai and to thank them for his success, Matthew organised several site visits for Level 1, 2 and 3 students enabling them to experience first-hand activity on site, that of which he received with Anwyl.

Matthew is a well-respected CITB Construction Ambassador, this role has meant Matthew has motivated young people through attendances at schools, colleges and youth clubs. His positive work ethic, enthusiasm and determination are exemplary, and key factors in encouraging the next generation into construction.

Matthews’s story is truly inspiring, having worked his way up to his position of Assistant Site Manager from an apprentice.

Matthew said: ‘’I share my positive experiences with young people from across the UK who are considering perusing a career in construction. This allows me to contribute back into the industry that has supported me so well over the last 8 years’’.

In 2014 Matthew won the award for National Construction Ambassador of the Year, showcasing all he has accomplished over the years. Matthew is an extremely positive role model to not only young adults wishing to achieve within the industry but more importantly to the local community.

 

Closing the Gap: Getting Women into Construction

With women currently representing only 11 per cent of the construction workforce, Procure Plus takes an active role in ensuring better gender equality and gives women the opportunity to build a career in this lifelong industry.

Working with Oldham-based Emanuel Whittaker, Procure Plus has supported the contractor to create 32 apprenticeships over the past five years, including for local resident, Katie Lockwood.

What Katie Did

 

In 2006, Emanuel Whittaker was chosen for the Procure Plus framework to complete a variety of projects across the North West. Both were aware of the lack of female workers in construction and agreed it was something they wanted to change. To encourage more women into the trades, they decided to offer tailored education and training via apprenticeships.

 In February 2008, Katie – a 16 year old with no qualifications – was offered an entry level role at Emanuel Whittaker, working on projects through Procure Plus. Katie got stuck into her new role from day one and was set to begin a Level 2 apprenticeship in Brickwork in September 2008. However, Katie then discovered she was to become a mum, and decided to put her studies on hold.

What Katie Did Next

What Katie did next (V1) PH 18.02.2015

As a young mum, the thought of balancing an apprenticeship with raising a child was daunting. But Katie was a brilliant apprentice and neither Procure Plus nor Emanuel Whittaker wanted to lose her. To make sure she was able to carry on learning her trade, Procure Plus and Emanuel Whittaker helped put the support in place that Katie needed to succeed.

A year later, in September 2009, Katie took up the Level 2 Brickwork apprenticeship at Oldham College. Like all the apprentices supported by Procure Plus, Katie was given a toolkit to help with her practical work and was supported so she could gain the experience and skills she needed to succeed.

In February 2011, Katie became a mum for the second time, but didn’t want to delay her studies. She continued to go to college during her maternity leave and, incredibly, managed to complete her key skills and Level 2 qualification by June the same year.

Spurred on by her success, and confident she could balance raising her young family while working, Katie enrolled for her Level 3 apprenticeship in Brickwork in September 2011.

When working on her Level 3, Katie realised she’d be able to do more work at Emanuel Whittaker if she was able to drive. To help her reach her goal, Procure Plus gave Katie vouchers for driving lessons and supported her in passing her test. By July 2012, a lot of hard work saw Katie sail through her Level 3 qualification and pass her driving test.

After finishing her Level 3 Brickwork, Katie didn’t want to stop there. She set her sights on a Higher National Diploma (HND), but the qualifications she’d already achieved didn’t give her direct access. Instead, Lee Bradbury, Emanuel Whittaker’s Health, Safety & Environment Manager, helped Katie identify the National Certificate (ONC) in Construction and the Built Environment course, as a bridging qualification that would help her progress onto a two-year, HND.

In September 2013, Salford City College launched their pilot Higher Level Apprenticeship in Construction Management with funding provided by the UK Commission’s Employer Ownership of Skills programme and Katie, with the support of Procure Plus and Emanuel Whittaker, became one of the first Higher Apprentices in Greater Manchester. Successful completion of the course will see Katie gain both a HND in Construction and the Built Environment and an NVQ level 5 Diploma in Construction Management.

In recognition of Katie’s progress, in January 2014, Emanuel Whittaker promoted Katie to site supervisor – a role which allows her to demonstrate the skills required by the NVQ element of her course.

What Katie’s Doing Now

What Katie is doing now (V1) PH 18.02.2015

Katie has been an ambassador for Emanuel Whittaker and the construction industry and regularly shares her experiences with other young people, encouraging them to consider an apprenticeship and a career in construction.

Katie has made huge achievements success on her Higher Apprenticeship course and has received a distinction for her Environmental Impact assignment. She is quickly building up her knowledge, and is striving to become a site manager at Emanuel Whitaker – an ambition she’s sure to achieve.

Lee said: “Working with Procure Plus has enabled us to make a really positive difference in Katie’s life, and she’s proving a true asset to the business. She’s gone from strength to strength in her studies and is working hard to reach her goals.

“Katie is just one of 32 apprentices we’ve employed over the past five years as part of the Procure Plus frameworks, and it’s thanks to the support we receive from Procure Plus that we have been able to build strong relationships with our local colleges, and can offer a regular and effective apprenticeship programme.”

TUC survey on job insecurity

SurveyIcon_100707Many people now have jobs that offer little or no security.

This may because you rely on an agency to provide you with work – and there’s no guarantee that they can find you work. You may have a job where you have no guarantee of how many hours work you will have from one week to the next. Or you may simply be on a short-term contract that may or may not be renewed.

The TUC wants to hear from people who have jobs with these kinds of problems, to help them campaign for a better deal for people at work. So, if you have such a job please fill in this survey.

If you know someone else who has, please also tell them about this survey.

The questionnaire will take people about 15 minutes. If you are unable to answer any of the questions, just move on to the next question or section. All the answers you provide will remain completely confidential and anonymous.

The survey is being run in association with the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC).

The survey will close on 20 June 2014

It’s Just What We Do” – The Importance of Recognising and Sharing Inclusivity Best Practice On-site.

DSC_0121_100457Since it was across the way, and since ISG kindly offered, we popped over to the Liverpool Exhibition Centre to see how they were addressing fairness, inclusion and respect at site level.

“Scrap ‘near miss’; it’s ‘hazard recognition’” – ‘Near miss’ holds connotations of blame. ‘Hazard recognition’ takes on an entirely different tone; it suggests the person recognising the hazard possessed enough skill to recognise the problem and had been positive in their action. We would say that the behavioural implication of the words has a vast impact on individuals feeling ‘ok’ to report challenges in their environment in a way that makes them feel respected.

Green, Amber and Red – The use of yellow and red cards is not new in the sector; we also advise them for use when challenging negative behaviour. Where ISG have taken this a step forward is the introduction of a green card to reward positive actions from site staff. If you get a green card, your name goes into a hat and every month the winner gets £50. We feel that the approach to fairness, inclusion and respect should start here – learning the valuable lessons from past work in the sector.

NI Numbers to check ‘right to work’ – Gang–mastering is a problem across the sector, and knowing who has a right to work can be problematic. In order to ensure people are not taken advantage of we need to address this as a matter of urgency. ISG have started down this path by collecting the NI numbers of people working on site, this allows them to match up to their CSCS cards and ensure they are registered to work.

Taken from the blog section of the Constructing Equality Ltd website

Mohamed transported to success

MohamedAggwaniM1bmJVphotos4_124736Mohamed Aggwani (23) had recently achieved a Masters of Engineering (MEng) Degree in Civil Engineering, but had been finding it difficult to secure a job in Oxford where he lived with his family.

Morgan Sindall was offering an administrative work experience opportunity on a project based in Oxford. Mohamed saw this as a good opportunity to get some experience with a recognised leading engineering contractor.

Mohamed says, “During my work experience placement, I got involved in a variety of interesting tasks and was given plenty of opportunities to gain skills and aid my professional development as a civil engineer. The tasks I was involved in gave me an all-round experience of what contractors do on site and increased my knowledge and confidence.”

At the end of the eight-week placement, Mohamed made it clear that he would like to pursue his career with Morgan Sindall.

Andrew Beadle, Project Manager, spoke with his colleagues to recommend Mohamed, and learned that there was an engineering opportunity at a project in Leeds.

Mohamed jumped at the chance to apply, despite the change of location. His application was successful.

He started employment, and is enrolled on Morgan Sindall’s graduate development programme. Mohamed will also shortly start work on his Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) professional registration.

Stef Wilson, Project Manager on the M1 project, said, “We are always keen to foster and retain talent, and Mohamed had already demonstrated his enthusiasm and commitment. Through good communication, collaboration across our business and timing, the circumstances were favourable for Mohamed and for Morgan Sindall.”

Cruden – Investor in Diversity

cruden-Housing-logo_104515Back in 2010, Cruden made a commitment to become a leading edge in ethical employment, quality and diversity within the construction industry. They took great strides towards achieving this aim when they were accredited as an Investor in Diversity early in 2013.

It took 18 months to complete the application process. During this time, every member of staff – from Apprentice to Chairman – undertook equality and diversity training and engaged in discussion, debate, self-assessment and self-analysis.

They were assessed across five key areas – committing, learning, developing, improving and communicating – and emerged as more enlightened and aware individuals.

Cruden have set their sights on a new goal – Leaders in Diversity, which is stage 3 in the Investors in Diversity process.

A Steering Group has been established to help guide the journey to Leader status. The Group has been tasked with developing new initiatives that will enable Cruden to actively embrace equality, diversity and inclusion.

The first of these new initiatives is Escalate Diversity.

An extension to Cruden’s core training and development programme, Escalate Diversity will focus on the understanding and management of the impact we have, as both individuals and a business, within the many different and diverse communities in which we operate.

As part of the Leaders in Diversity assessment process, staff will be asked to complete a survey regarding their commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within the workplace.

Further details can be found on the National Centre for Diversity website

A FIRst class employer

CITB BE Fair FrameworkUK construction, infrastructure and design business Morgan Sindall was looking for external approval for the work it was doing around Fairness, Inclusion and Respect [FIR] when CITB introduced its Be Fair accreditation pilot.

“The timely opportunity to be involved in something industrywide was compelling”, said Samantha French, Strategic Inclusion and Community Manager.

“Taking the Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Be Fair accreditation will help make Morgan Sindall an employer of choice”.

“Morgan Sindall had had an ‘Inclusion Plan’ in place since 2011 and had been investigating the various equality frameworks on the market in order to achieve external approval for the work we do around equality, diversity and inclusion,” Samantha said.

Taking part in the pilot was time-consuming but ultimately rewarding, she said. Among other benefits she felt the accreditation would also support business development and tendering activities and the experience itself was gratifying.

Without doubt, Samantha felt the accreditation had raised the profile of the company’s success in this area both internally and externally, and has helped to ensure that inclusive practice is at the heart of what it does.

Morgan Sindall’s top tips for Be Fair accreditation

  • Ensure buy-in from all levels of your organisation
  • Communicate what you are doing and why
  • Use the advice and support available
  • Make sure you have a good team leader who has a passion to see it through

The full case study can be found on the CITB website

My surveying story: Diane Dumashie

Diane DumashieDiane Dumashie, an independent corporate consultant, surveyor and land economist, told RICS Recruit about her career.

“Surveying was something that, quite honestly, I fell into. I knew that I didn’t want to have a ‘traditional’ office job; however, I was sure that I wanted a career which allowed me to work outdoors with land and natural resources, and which had good prospects for progression and job satisfaction. I’m pleased to say that that’s exactly what surveying has proved to be.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have a huge deal of variety in my working life.  Specifically over the last decade or so, with a PhD specialism in coastal policy and business, I have provided consultancy to coastal business. I have also followed my passion by branching out into the African market to advise on protecting access rights for coastal communities.

“My advice to anyone looking to start out in the sector is to ensure you’ve got a good mix of ‘soft’ skills – such as report writing, decision making and leadership – to accompany the more traditional technical skills of collecting the right information and data to analyse. It is now more important to be able to make ‘sense of’ and apply that knowledge to problem solving. If you possess that combination of attributes, you’ll fit into the surveying sector extremely well. And, if you’re anything like me, it’ll be the best decision you’ll ever make.”

From RICS Recruit

Macform Ltd. – A happy workforce is a productive workforce

Macform - Happy Workforce a Productive WorkforceMaking the leap from considering themselves a “fair and decent employer” to formally evidencing that commitment was one of the main motivators behind Macform’s involvement in the Be Fair accreditation.

“On paper, we probably knew very little [about Fairness, Inclusion and Respect] although in practice we would have always considered ourselves a fair, decent and approachable employer,” said MacForm’s Health & Safety Advisor, Lynsey Downie.

“I believe that this proves to current employees and prospective future employees that we are an organisation which genuinely cares about and takes an interest in the wellbeing of our staff, above and beyond any statutory limits,” Lynsey said.

Already, Lynsey felt that going through the accreditation – which is flexible to suit all sizes of companies – has boosted morale within the team and given staff “a voice”.

“They are now aware that they are an integral part of the business and their views and opinions really do matter. A happy workforce is a productive workforce!” she said.

From the CITB Website