Spotlight on: Jamie @ A14

Ellena Tangi

January 25, 2018

Last week we paid a visit to the Highways England A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project offices to meet many of our contractors and drop a delivery of our infamous sweet treats off.

Between now and completion in December 2020, sections of the A1 and the A14 will be widened and a brand new section of A14 will be built. So far we’ve placed 25 contractors in the improvement scheme in various roles.

Whilst on site we met with Jamie, who has been working for CarmichaelUK as an Engineering Administrator at the A14 project since August 2017.

Jamie has been a member of the CUK family for a number of years, working as an Engineer with top-tier contractors, before he encountered difficulties with his mental and physical health, from which he is still recovering. Subsequent to his illness, and having received positive feedback from his previous employers, our team worked hard to find Jamie a role in the construction and engineering industry, where he so desperately loved working.

CarmichaelUK are dedicated to ensuring all of our candidates are treated equally as part of our Diversity and Inclusion commitment and our approach is shared by the A14 Integrated Delivery Team ( a joint venture bewtween Costain, Skanska and Balfour Beatty). We worked collaboratively to place Jamie back into the working environment in which he is dedicated to pursuing a career.

Jamie said “I had worked with Pen at CarmichaelUK on various different sites before starting at A14. I had encountered some difficulties which led to me being out of work for five years, and I didn’t really know how I was going to get back into the construction industry. People see a careers gap and my age, even though I have a degree they’re put off. But I sorted out my CV and I was contacted by CarmichaelUK. Pen has made it her life mission to get me back into the industry I love and I can’t thank her enough.”

“The team I work with at the A14 are very supportive, they offer flexibility and are exceptionally understanding of my situation. I can often have a lot of time off of work, so it’s hard to feel part of a team, but I settled in straight away and found everyone approachable. On my first day, I was invited to a progress meeting so I was able to see what people were doing, which helped me get to know faces and understand who is who.”

While the construction industry is becoming more modern it can still be difficult to change outlooks. We asked Jamie what he thought of the industry and its attitude to mental health “It’s definitely changing its outlook but there’s still a lot to be done. It’s easy to see the companies that care and are genuine, and CarmichaelUK and the A14 are both true to that. The A14 has people who are trained in helping those with mental health issues. It’s becoming less of a stigma in the construction industry, which has perhaps not always been seen as the most supportive environment. The whole industry needs more people like those at the A14 and CarmichaelUK.”

A YouGov survey suggests that only a third of 18 – 29-year-olds are comfortable talking with their manager about mental health issues compared to almost half of people in their 40s. As a company, we work hard to ensure everybody feels comfortable talking openly about their wellbeing.

This was acknowledged by Jamie “CarmichaelUK take the time to ring you to check up on how you’re doing, they genuinely care about you. They’ve always got a presence; no matter what site you’re on, they’ll even pop down on site to see how you are, this really sets them apart from other recruitment agencies.”

If you struggle with mental or physical health issues Jamie’s advice to you is “Don’t give up, you can only try every avenue that you can but stick with it.”

Click here to find out more about our commitment to diverse and inclusive recruitment in the construction and engineering industry.

Source: Flickr - Highways England
Used Under: CC License