Ashleigh Gow is a planner at Kier Regional Building North West. Recently, she was awarded the G4C Future Leader Award at this year’s North West Regional Construction Awards. Here, Ashleigh discusses her career so far, projects she has worked on and how she feels about winning the award.
“I joined Kier at the end of 2014 when I was 18. I had just finished college and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I started working at the Kier office in Manchester where I met the head of planning, Ken Johnston. Ken had said he was looking to build his team and promised me training and career progression, the role sounded really interesting and I started my career in planning in 2015 and haven’t looked back. As well as my job in planning, I am also doing the Kier Degree Programme in construction management.
During my time at Kier I’ve been really fortunate to work on so many projects. Chester Storyhouse is one of my favourites. It's cool to think that the Queen was in the same building as I've been in hundreds of times! I learned a lot working at St Julie's. I joined part way through, working there one day a week. The project looks brilliant, we had a great team and it's a project we should be proud of.
In order to be a planner, you need to not be afraid to ask questions, be willing to learn, have great organisation and time management skills, as well as communicative skills. I am currently working in the centre of Liverpool on the Kaplan project, which is a student accommodation block. As the planner for the project I am responsible for the sequence of works, and before a project starts, I look at the drawing from the architect or client, reviewing the specifications and logistics in order to put together a programme of work to make it happen.
For my own personal development, I started to put together end of project reports, to help me learn lessons from each job I’ve worked on. I shared this with my manager and head of planning and now we’ve introduced this for all of our projects in the North West to share across our teams a summary of what we did, what went well and where we can learn from what we’d done.
I’m really proud of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned during my time working at Kier. Winning the G4C Future Leader Award was an especially proud moment for me, I was up against some amazing people and I was so pleased to have won. I’ve had some great support from so many people at Kier during my career so far and I want to do the same for others in the industry. I’m passionate about getting the next generation interested in careers in construction and intend to get more involved in supporting G4C in its goal to connect with like-minded passionate young people across the built environment.”