Mentors add real value

We take great pride in mentoring the next generation of workers and, in doing so, we assign an internal mentor to buddy-up with younger members of the team.

Within the mechanical services department contract managers, Mark Charlton and Bruce Kirtley are currently overseeing the progression of mechanical contracts manager, Jonathan Wilson and junior mechanical engineering project manager, Adam Kennedy.

Mark Charlton, said: “Bruce and I complement each other well. We have our own individual approach as to how we progress the careers of the younger members from a skills development perspective and how we look at their mindset and communication skills. The key to it all is that they know they are valued members of the team and we build from there.

“Jonathan is a couple of years older than Adam and is a methodical worker, he is a people-person and learns more effectively on the job and via face-to-face communication. Adam, is more reserved and is a visual learner preferring to sketch ideas down.  Both approaches are great, it gives them a platform from which to develop and Bruce and I build on those strengths.

“As well as their day-to-day roles, we teach them softer skills such as how to communicate with suppliers and how to adapt to life on-site. We want to get them away from their keyboards, encouraging them to speak directly to clients. This business is all about loyal relationships and that starts with building relationships based on trust and respect.

“When I entered the trade, I didn’t think I would one day be guiding the younger members to develop. Adam and Jonathan both joined with little background knowledge and are now able to handle their own projects, knowing we are on hand if they need advice. It takes years to find your niche. I tried estimating in my early days but soon found it wasn’t for me. I prefer being at the forefront of activity as a contract manager.

“Adam has a good eye for design and estimating and Jonathan is developing his skills as a future contract manager, they have bright futures ahead of them.”

Adam Kennedy, said: “Mark and Bruce have their own individual styles, Bruce is laid back and very considered while Mark is full of energy and action. They also differ in their approaches – Bruce is a detail man and Mark thinks more about the bigger picture so, there are elements of both characters which Jonathan and myself identify with and learn from.

“I was quite shy and reserved when I joined the team but Mark brought me out of my shell. He improved my confidence, particularly when being on-site, which can initially be quite intimidating. I had no option but to get on with the task at hand and as my skills grew my confidence developed. Not just in my ability to get the job done, but in communicating with the lads on-site.

“In the two years since joining the company, my confidence has come on leaps and bounds and so has my skillset. II am delighted to have recently gained a distinction following the completion of a part-time building services engineering degree via Northumbria University.”