Profile Interview: Liam Clarke, Mechanical Supervisor.

Profile Interview: Liam Clarke, Mechanical Supervisor.

At BGEN, no two roles are the same, so we are talking to colleagues across the organisation and asking them five questions to get insight and understanding of their journey here and how they fit into the company.

Liam is a Mechanical Supervisor and has been with the company for thirteen years. He’s based at our St Helens fabrication facility in the Northwest and in his spare time enjoys spending time in the outdoors and taking part in adventure activities. 

Can you tell us a little about your background and the path that has led you here?

I first joined BGEN (back then it was Boulting of course) in 2008 as part of my work experience. I worked in the fabrication facility and quickly realised that I wanted to be in the mechanical and engineering industry. I was over the moon when I was offered the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship as a pipefitter at the same place.

I started in summer 2009 and completed a 10-month block college course, being mentored ‘on the job’ by an experienced pipe fitter, who took the time to show me the ropes. There were a lot of people who helped me along the way and who I still look up to now.

Once qualified, I started to work onsite on specific projects all over the world. The experience I’ve gained has been incredible: I’ve been on sites in the pharmaceutical sector, nuclear sites, and worked with chemical clients. Over the last ten years I’ve progressed into a supervisor role which I enjoy thoroughly, and I’m now studying online to go into project management, supported again by BGEN.

Can you describe your average day?

Every day is different: We always get an early start on-site but that does not always mean an early finish as there are often challenges with evolving projects and meeting shutdown deadlines. I work proactively with our own work force and subcontractors alike, which includes the day-to-day management of our pipefitters, welders, platers, and any other tradespeople involved with the project. The most recent project I was working on meant that I was supervising 50 people on site on any day!

We carry out daily/weekly meetings with the client to keep the project progressing and meet the deadlines and targets set out.

Once a project starts, I will be based onsite but that doesn’t mean that will be the only project I will be involved with at that one time. I could also be asked to carry out site visits or support the tendering process for potential new projects.

Has anything surprised you?

I’m surprised every time we undertake a job because the goals and tasks ahead can seem huge! However, the challenge is a big motivator for us, and we always pull together to achieve the project goals as a team. Making strong relationships with clients makes the jobs we undertake flow better as well.

What advice would you give to someone setting out in their career?

I would tell someone who is starting their apprenticeship like I did to stay focused and listen to advice from all the people around them. Never be afraid to ask questions – as this will help you to become more knowledgeable – and get involved as much as practicably possible. Try and be the best as you can be and take pride in what you are doing because it’s important!

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