A time-served joiner who wanted to move into construction management has secured a permanent job at a leading North Wales firm, after impressing bosses during a work placement. Joe Hackney is in the second year of his construction management degree at Glyndwr University, Wrexham.
He had applied for a one-week placement with Wynne Construction after meeting Alison Hourihane, business and community development manager, at an industrial engagement event at the university. On his final day of placement in June, at the new Ysgol Penyffordd primary school project in Flintshire, Joe received a phone call from managing director, Chris Wynne.
Joe, 32, said: "Chris said he'd heard good reports and that everyone on site was happy with the standard of my work. He invited me to a job interview, and before I knew it I was offered a permanent position. I felt like Iíd won the lottery."
Joe started as a trainee site manager in early July, just three weeks after his placement. Following a fortnight completing health and safety training and learning Wynneís processes and procedures at Coleg Cambriaís new engineering block extension project in Deeside, he is now working at the site of the new Travelodge in Rhyl.
Joe added: "The company is amazing with its flexibility. I attend university two days and work on site for three days each week. It had been really hard to find work as a student, which was important to support my wife and our two-year-old daughter. I'd had lots of rejections, as most employers require you to work five days a week. My self-esteem dropped. To land the kind of job now, that you only hope to get when you finish university, is incredible."
Joe, who lives in Cefn Y Bedd, Flintshire, has previously spent 14 years working around Wrexham and Oswestry as a joiner, mostly self-employed. He explained that the work placement with Wynne had itself provided valuable new experience in how to start a construction project.
"As a joiner, you are on site at the middle and end of a scheme, when the structure is already in place. At Penyffordd, I learned how to set up, and about groundworks, for example. The site manager, John Owen spent a lot of time with me. He showed me how things work and explained processes in depth. At Coleg Cambria, Wynne has introduced a tablet system to reduce paperwork, which was a big learning curve for me. I also helped to run the site, and answered queries from Wynne employees and subcontractors."
Commenting about Wynne Construction, he said: "My first impression at the industrial engagement event was of a big firm that is very professional. It is the case, as the company is modern and forward-thinking, and a very attractive firm to want to work for. So far, Iíve had three site managers, all of whom have been forthcoming with their time and information. They each have their own style of managing. Itís great for me to see the different approaches, which is helping me develop my own style. Just what I have learned in my first three months will go a long way to helping me in the final two years of studying. Iím also working and earning while I study. I feel very privileged," he added.
Managing director Chris Wynne said: "As a small to medium-sized company, we are always on the lookout for new people who are professional and have the right attitude, and being flexible enough, we are able to recruit as the business demands, for the right people. Joe showed promise from his first day on placement, so it was an easy decision to invite him to apply for a permanent position."