8th March 2023

NCW2023: Dave’s progression through the Rail industry

Careers Infrastructure

Throughout National Careers Week, we are shining a light on various roles within our business and the range of routes our employees have taken to get to where they are. Meet Dave, our Assistant Operations Manager for the Rail Division.

Dave has always had a passion for working in the construction industry and joined the industry at the age of 18.

He has primarily focused on roles within the Rail sector and in 2015 joined Van Elle as a Crane Controller, since then he has continued to expand his skills and capabilities through various roles within the company.

As an Assistant Operations Manager, Dave is responsible for resourcing our projects and people within the Rail division.

He believes the industry is an excellent career choice and there are many paths to a role in construction. Through either education or work experience, you can succeed, making it a great field for everyone, regardless of your background.

Looking for a career in construction? Read more about Dave’s journey here.

Tell us about your career journey so far.

I joined the construction industry at the age of 18 and progressed through various roles. In 2015 I started my career at Van Elle as a Crane Controller delivering infrastructure works for our Rail team. I have always enjoyed challenges and have been seeking ways to improve, which is why I trained to become a Supervisor. In my current position, I have been given more responsibility by managing the day-to-day operations of our men working on site.

Tell us about your current job role/duties.

My current job role duties entail:

  • Assisting the Manager of Operations with overseeing daily operations like staffing, scheduling, and customer relations
  • Fatigue Management – This includes checking the welfare of site workers and ensuring they aren’t working over their hours. I arrange accommodation and keep them updated on necessary construction training.
  • Working together with Works and Contracts Managers

What does an average week look like for you?

Often the weeks can look similar, as I am consistently ensuring we provide a competent and compliant workforce to the Rail Infrastructure through receipt of client orders. However, I’m always prepared for any changes that can arise.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I am never left without a challenge. I enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, and always finding ways to solve problems whilst still meeting specified timescales. This role can have its challenges like any other, which allows room for professional growth.

What education or training do you need for your role?

It is always great to have some kind of education or work experience under your belt. But within a role like this, there are many skills you can learn along the way.

The skills I think are key to performing well in a role like this one is communication, attention to detail and the ability to handle difficult situations in a calm and strategic manner.

Why did you choose a career in construction?

Careers in construction always offer great opportunities to progress and develop. As proven by the roles I have acquired during my time in construction. Within this industry, there are also many roles that allow you to work outside and be active all day doing something with tangible results.

What are your career aspirations?

My current position at Van Elle is great, and I am enjoying the responsibilities I have been assigned. Supporting the Rail team in the office and men out on our sites is an important part of my job, and I would like to continue doing so.

What advice would you give to somebody looking to get into the role?

If you are looking for a career in construction, I believe getting on-site work experience will benefit you greatly. This is because there are certain attributes to working in construction that can’t be taught.

Spend your time researching the type of role you will enjoy, as once you know about the countless opportunities available, it is easier to narrow down the one that stands out to you the most.

Visit our careers page for more information on Van Elle opportunities. Or for more information on career guidance visit National Careers Week.

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