When it comes to a career in construction the Fairgrieve family from Stoney Stanton couldn’t be better role models. Husband Mark, wife Sue and son Sam are all employed by Jelson Homes and agree that they wouldn’t consider another role if they had the choice.
Having grown up with builders, plumbers and electricians on both sides of the family, they all say that construction, as a career, was and is still in their blood, so when the opportunity came along for them to work for the same company, but in different parts of the business, they jumped at the chance.
Sue has worked at Jelson Homes for two years as a sales adviser and now spends most of her time at the Holmwood development in Coventry. Having previously been employed by other developers she enjoys every aspect of her role with Jelson, from meeting prospective home buyers and seeing them buy their home, to them building their own families.
“I have such diverse working days that there is never a dull moment,” comments Sue. "I can be with the site team one minute looking at new plans and discussing the latest houses coming soon, to taking new buyers around a new plot and helping them to secure a mortgage.
“What’s great, however, is seeing a development and a community come together.
"Because Holmwood is a large mixed-community development, I am always being given food from around the world to sample. Just last week, I was handed Polish, Sri-Lankan and an Indian dish to sample on different days - and that’s what is so lovely - meeting fantastic people from different backgrounds and helping them to secure the home of their dreams, and I wouldn’t swap that for the world.”
Husband Mark is contracts manager for Jelson and has worked for the company for a staggering 26 years. Having moved up the ranks over the years, first as a bricklayer then on to trainee site manager, site manager and then into his current role, he agrees that working for a well-established company that has a strong regional reputation is what has kept him with Jelson for so long.
“The ethos of Jelson is very much about working hard but being appreciated at the same time. It’s a great and happy place to work and to be with a traditional company that has traditional values is very important to me and is why I recommended it to both Sue and Sam.”
As a newly-promoted site manager, Sam now looks after his own development in Mountsorrel. Having left school at 16 he moved directly into a three-year bricklaying apprenticeship with Jelson and from there gained the skills and confidence to take on more responsibility.
“I’m organised and like to see projects come together and that’s why I was able to progress so quickly, from bricklayer to trainee site manager and from there into my current role.
As a trainee site manager, my day involves everything from ordering materials and organising the build programme, to liaising with contractors and ensuring good health and safety practices are adhered to.
“The experience that I have gained from Jelson so far, together with my on-the-job training will equip me with all the knowledge I need to take control of my own larger site in the future and I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”
Although rare for three members of the same family to work together, the Fairgrieve's agree that it couldn’t be a better set up. Sue adds: “We talk about work a little bit, but because we are all in different locations we don’t feel suffocated by each other.
“Being a part of the big Jelson family works well for our family and so I hope we can go on to inspire more people to move into the world of construction. With such a diverse range of people in the industry, I can guarantee that it’s an entertaining sector and there’s never a dull moment!”
Award-winning Jelson apprentices lead the way for women in building trades
Release date: 2 March 2019