After 15 years in the business, working in partnership with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, local Welwyn man Scott Clarke knows the value of apprenticeships.
Scott works as a Contracts Manager for responsive repairs and voids, running a team of over 50 people and completing up to 2,600 repairs a month for the residents of the borough. However, like many senior people in Mears, Scott began his career as a Mears apprentice, an opportunity that gave him the tools and skills to build a successful career in management.
Scott said: “I had an early interest in carpentry at school and luckily for me I knew it’s what I wanted to do as a career.”
However, after finishing school, Scott struggled to find companies that would take him on as an apprentice. Finally, he reached out to his local MP who contacted Mears and they were happy to take Scott on.
“I completed my apprenticeship on this very contract and Mears were extremely helpful in ensuring that I fulfilled all my NVQ Level 2 qualification requirements.
“I know that because of my apprenticeship, I have a greater knowledge of this contract, and my years of working as an operative has helped me better understand the requirements of our residents and our client.”
As part of ongoing training and development at Mears, Scott has further completed his SMSTS qualification, a diploma in construction management and received an advanced scaffold inspection ticket certificate.
Scott added: “The first nine years of my career, I learnt the ropes of the trade — first as an apprentice and then as a multi-trader. Since then I’ve been able to excel quickly, and in five years I have progressed from Repairs Supervisor to the Site Manager and now a Contracts Manager.”
Scott currently leads his team with a passion and dedication that is second to none.
“We have a great team at Welwyn Garden City. We keep each other motivated and get along well. The last 18 months have been extremely hard for everyone; Covid was something that no one had seen before. However, we managed to keep operations running smoothly and ensure that our residents and staff were kept safe.
“Once restrictions were lifted, we used our supply chain and allocated our operatives properly to make sure that we complete all the backlog of tickets created because of the lockdown restrictions.”
When asked about Scott, General Manager Damon Ellis said: “Scott has shown throughout the years that with hard work and ambition along with a committed client and customer focus anything is achievable. I’m genuinely proud to have been part of Scott’s journey from Apprentice to Contracts Manager.”
Giving back to its communities is what Mears has built its business on, and what Scott and his team are most passionate about. Just this year, the branch has raised over £3,500 for some fantastic charities like Cancer Research UK, Isobel Hospice, Alzheimer’s Society, Herts Young Homeless to name a few.
Scott added: “We are proud to be part of this community; every year in partnership with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, we sponsor the Welwyn Hatfield Civic Awards to recognise the extraordinary commitment and inspirational achievements of the people in this borough.”
Mears believes that despite the challenges presented by 2020, there is an opportunity for companies to play a major role in levelling up our economy and creating chances.
“Mears truly invests in its communities and its people; they gave me the opportunity to learn when no one else would. We have some fantastic apprentices on this contract who are from the local community and we will continue to invest in Welwyn’s talent pool.
“It is one of the best-placed companies to complete your apprenticeship if you are in the construction industry. You not only learn a specific trade, but you also get to learn other skills, which gives you a more rounded understanding of the business.
“This is my story for anyone who is thinking of joining this industry, it is a long road and one that at times may make you want to give up — but if you stick to it you will be rewarded.
“It is definitely worth it.”