Everyone’s journey into the construction industry is different, and there are many avenues you can take to find the perfect place for you. In this blog, we speak with Keegan Gray to discuss his journey so far as an Assistant Site Manager for John F Hunt Limited.
When did your John F Hunt journey begin?
I joined John F Hunt about 8 months ago. When I first started, I was working at 1 Liverpool Street, I then progressed onto Elizabeth House for three months, and now I am at One Exchange Square, where I have been since.
How is work progressing at One Exchange Square?
I have been at One Exchange Square since the initial set-up, moving all the equipment and supplies from another job. My favourite part about this industry is seeing how the building develops over time. So far, John F Hunt is only 4 months into the project, and I have seen so many noticeable differences and learnt so much already. We have soft stripped from level 12 to level 5 and are starting structural altercations and tower crane installation In the next month. We are due to be complete in March next year, and I am excited to do the closing-out report knowing I have been there since the beginning.
You are from New Zealand, so how did joining John F Hunt occur?
I have a family member who lives in England, and through them I heard of John F Hunt and the excellent reputation they have in the construction industry. So, I sent an email of my CV to the Technical Director, Davinder, who appreciated my previous experience and attitude and wanted me to be part of the team. I thought I am keen to visit England, expand my career and explore a new role in an industry I’m familiar with, so why not make the move!
What previous experience do you have in the construction industry?
I’m only 21, but in New Zealand I gained a lot of experience in the trades. I left school when I was 15 and worked in plumbing, gas fitting and drainage installation. I did that for two years, then progressed onto carpentry whilst I attended welding school, so I just naturally progressed into construction.
What is a typical day like for you at John F Hunt?
Every single day is different working at John F Hunt. One day is not the same as the next day, but my average day starts with doing the morning briefing at about a quarter to 8. We discuss the plans for that day and how we can collaborate as a team to get the job done as efficiently and safely as possible.
After the morning briefing, I do the site inductions. This involves making sure all the new operatives understand what work is being done and the safest way of doing it through our method statement, and that they understand the safe practice of work. After, I will usually proceed to have meetings with clients, subcontractors, or third-party authorities to discuss future works.
Recently I have been spending a lot of time with John F Hunt’s Environmental team. John F Hunt has a policy on reusing and recycling as many materials from our sites as possible. Recently, we sent a lot of marble to local schools to be used for art projects.
What are your career goals?
My main goal is to become a Project Manager by the age of 25. After achieving that, I’d like to stay with John F Hunt and continue working up to becoming a Director. I want to keep expanding my knowledge of the construction industry so that I can pass it on and teach other people like that which has been passed onto me by my senior John F Hunt members.
In September, through John F Hunt, I am going to be attending City of Westminster College to start a Civil Engineering HNC to further my education and understand the theoretical side of a site, so I can adapt that knowledge and put it to practical use.
What do you enjoy most about working at John F Hunt?
The best thing about John F Hunt is the people. There is such a diverse team at John F Hunt, and every single person pushes me to achieve my goals and to learn something every single day.
Do you have any advice for someone interested in getting into the Construction industry?
My advice would be to not stress too much about school or training. Get stuck in and learn on the job about the roles in the industry. At the same time, you will learn a lot about yourself, what you are passionate about and what you can bring into the workforce.