In support of National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 4th March – 8th March 2019, we catch up with a long-serving member of the Sir Robert McAlpine team, Derek Potter. His career with us spans an incredible 37 years, where he started out as an apprentice and now works as a Senior Works Manager based in Durham. Here he shares some of his highlights which exemplifies what a long and fulfilling career an apprenticeship can lead to.
How long have you been with the business?
I have worked for the Business for 37 years in total since leaving school.
Where were you before?
I left school in 1973 looking for a career in joinery and was fortunate enough to secure a position with Sir Robert McAlpine. I left the business in 1984 until 1993 where I returned back to the fold after travelling around the country gaining valuable experience.
Describe your role and typical day
As a Works Manager, there’s never a dull moment as every day is different. From being involved with site inductions in the morning to being out on site, working with the site team, putting operatives to work, ordering plant materials and solving any issues.
What’s been your most memorable project highlight to date?
It has to be Eldon Square Shopping Centre as this was the first big job after leaving school. The buzz of the construction site and memories of characters back then have stayed with me all my years. My highlight to date was the Platinum Mall at the Metro Centre which was handed over defect free.
What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?
I would encourage anyone looking for an apprenticeship to go for it, especially in construction. If I had to re-live my life I would honestly do it all again. I have met and worked with some of the most motivated, focused, hardworking, dedicated and friendliest people in my 46 years.
And finally, how would you describe Sir Robert McAlpine in 3 words?
Family, trusting and loyal.
At Sir Robert McAlpine, we offer a range of apprenticeship opportunities, delivered in partnership with education providers at a local level. You can search and apply for roles here.