🚧 NSCG | Q&A with Julian Harrison, Curriculum Leader for Construction…
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27th May 2020

We spoke to Julian Harrison, Curriculum Leader for Construction at NSCG, to chat about his experiences before joining the College and his advice for students anyone wanting to progress in the industry.

Q: How did you first get into the Construction industry?

A: Whilst I was still at school, I saw an advert in a shop window from a local builder who was looking for someone to work on Saturdays. I worked with him for around a year on Saturdays, in the school holidays and when I finished school. He then employed me on as an Apprentice Bricklayer and I attended Stafford College for my studies.

Q: How did you get into teaching?

A: When I was in my early twenties, I returned to Stafford College to complete a number of Construction courses which was one day per week whilst working as a self-employed bricklayer alongside it. One of my old lecturers asked if I would be interested in teaching a first year group of trainee bricklayer’s practical brickwork, so I began teaching at the college for one day per week.

Q: What kind of jobs have your previous students gone on to achieve?

A: Ex-students have gone on to do a whole host of things such as: Bricklaying Contractors, General Builders, Site Managers, Contracts Managers, Quantity Surveyors and Sales Representatives for suppliers. It’s funny how it goes full circle. I am now teaching some apprentices that work for people that I taught many years ago!

Q: What challenges have you faced in your career and how have you overcome them?

A: When I was self-employed, the economy was struggling and there wasn’t a great deal of work around. My ethos has always been to produce work to the highest possible standard with good customer service and this meant that I was never short of work when some others were. I was working for four days a week and my college hours were condensed into two long days, starting at 9am and finishing at 9pm. I only really had Sunday’s as a day off and even then, I was completing my college assignments. Hard work and the determination to succeed got me through those hard times.

Q: Tell us what you love most about the work you do…

A: One of the great things about working in construction is that the buildings that I have built or worked on are most probably going to last longer than me. It’s really satisfying seeing work that I have done, some of it is quite a few years old now. Building’s play a key part in everyone’s lives. Its brilliant being able to say ‘’I built that’’.

Q: What advice would you give someone considering pursuing a career in the industry?

A: Go for it! The construction industry is huge and the opportunities so varied. Whatever you start doing is not always what you finish doing particularly if you have the aspirations to progress in your career.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working at the College?

A: The transformation of students. Taking someone who has just left school and wants a career in construction and seeing the change from that first day at college to the day when they finish their course as a qualified tradesperson. It’s a great feeling knowing that I am helping to secure the training of the tradespeople for the industry in the future. It’s also great to be able to take students to regional competition and national competitions. Winning them is the icing on the cake.

If you would like to find out more about studying on of our Construction & Engineering courses, find out more here https://nscg.ac.uk/study/course-departments/construction-engineering.