Ex-Corporal Excels In Site Management Academy

Ex-Corporal Excels In Site Management Academy

Off By Ed Hanna

Trainee Site Manager Michael Wilkinson has been working for award-winning developer Crest Nicholson for fourteen months. Before embarking on a career in site management, Michael was a member of the Royal Engineers in the British Army for over ten years.

Crest Nicholson has formalised its ongoing support for members of the Armed Forces and their families by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. As part of the cooperation that the Company has promised to provide in the Covenant, Crest Nicholson will seek to offer those that are leaving, or who have left the military, an opportunity to build a new career in the housebuilding and construction sector through dedicated training schemes, including the award winning Crest Nicholson Site Management Academy.

Working as a Corporal in the Royal Engineer Search Team, a six-man team that located and uncovered improvised explosive devices, the Army was Michael’s first ever job after school.

During his time in the Army, Michael toured to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. Following a routine search one day, an IED went off, leaving Michael injured.

As a result, he was medically discharged from the career that he loved. ‘I had no plans post-military’ said Michael when reflecting on this time.

On hearing that Crest Nicholson was hiring for its Site Management Academy, ‘I thought I would give it a chance’ said Michael on how he came about his current role. I applied and the next day I was contacted for an interview.

The process was ‘very smooth’ said Michael, who was told following the process that his military experience has been a major factor in his recruitment. Enrolled as part of the 2017 Site Management Academy, Michael is currently a Trainee Site Manager with Crest Nicholson’s Eastern Division, where he is 14 months into a two year programme.

The training is broken down into a number of elements, including on-the-job and classroom-based learning, mentoring and workshops that are designed to provide aspiring site managers with comprehensive professional, academic and industry skills development. “The training is perfect for real world needs” said Michael, who has already achieved the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Level 4 Certificate and Diploma in Site Management through the Site Management Academy, and who is on track to achieve the Level 6 qualification through the CIOB, equivalent to degree level qualification. Crest Nicholson provides support to all its site management trainees through study leave and provision of training costs, which is ‘worth its weight in gold’ according to Michael.

There are many similarities between the Armed Forces and Crest Nicholson states Michael. The values and standards to achieve the best are the same, which he describes as ‘comforting’ for those coming into the company from the Armed Forces. It is also great to be a part of a company that has a focus on promotion and progress when it comes to its employees’ careers. Michael described the transition from the military as ‘easier’ because of this shared ethos.

The transferable skills developed during a career in the Armed Forces is something that is particularly valued by employers.

‘The emphasis on forward thinking and the ability to forward plan is hugely important in site management, and is something that is ingrained in you as part of the military’ Michael said when reflecting on how much his military expertise has helped him to forge his new career.

The Site Management Academy is a two year programme, which looks to promote from within and bring new talent into the construction industry with the focus on the position of Site Manager. There are also potential onward career path opportunities to progress to, Project Manager, Build Manager and Production Director with Crest Nicholson.

Visit our website for more information:
www.crestnicholson.com/ site-management-academy