Here, Jason Hartnell, a project manager for Kier Regional Building North East, reflects on a busy year for himself and the business, which has seen him pick up two prestigious industry awards including Gold at the national Construction Manager of the Year Awards.
“I joined Kier at 16 years old in 1986. I'd just left school where I had got a Grade A in Joinery, it was just something I always did well at. The opportunity came up to work at Kier for a few weeks and after that I was offered a joinery apprenticeship. My mum encouraged me to go for it and the rest as they say, is history.
“After my four-year apprenticeship, I went on to become a joiner and spent around 12 years working in the North East on various projects.
“Whilst working on one particular scheme in Stokesley, I was asked to help out with the snagging. Within eight weeks of doing the snagging reports, the contracts manager was encouraging me to continue to get involved in other work. It was all different to anything I'd done before and at the end of the job I was offered a role as finisher manager and that really structured my career going forward.
“After that I became finishing foreman, then onto site manager before progressing to senior site manager and most recently, project manager.
“I have been so lucky during my career working with some great people on some amazing projects. My last three projects have received two Gold and one silver awards from Considerate Constructors Scheme. I've always been ambitions and wanted to do my best, focusing on what I need to do. I'm proud of the work I do, delivering projects on time and ensuring our clients are expectations are met.
“My most recent project, a £40m job to build the new headquarters for Durham County Council, in the middle of the City, close to the river is a major project for Kier in the region and one I am excited to see progress.”
When asked about what advice he would give to someone joining the construction industry, Jason said: “The key is to work hard and be conscientious. Everything is achievable. It’s all about working together as a team.
“The team I’ve got at Durham HQ is mainly made up of a young team of really passionate people just starting out in their careers. Our assistant site manager, Alexandra Taylor, is just excellent and James Fulton, who joined us from the army where he’d been in Afghanistan, has worked with me for the last four years, joining as a plasterer and is now also assistant site manager.
It’s really important to me that we look after our people. I love what I do and I can’t wait to get up in the morning, to get on site and make sure everything is right and share my passion with the next generation.”