New career start after 40 years of construction experience

The Galliford Try Partnerships’ Skills Academy is helping construction professional Richard Keverne, with four decades of experience in the industry, to launch a new career and even consider working beyond retirement age.

63-year-old Richard Keverne, a former roofer, has taken part in the innovative training scheme and now works as a gateman on a Galliford Try site in Cornwall. This training has helped to revive Richard’s career. He was told that after the many years spent carrying stacks of roof tiles and climbing ladders, damage to his body would mean he’d struggle to carry on working in that role.

Father-of-two Richard says: “I was told that both my knee joints needed replacing – it was the wear and tear of working as a roofer for 40 years. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do so I went to an employment agency and they suggested I went to Cornwall College to study for my Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, which meant that I would have extra skills.”

The college enrolled him onto the Galliford Try Skills Academy, where he was given training to prepare for the certification. Having passed a test and getting his CSCS qualification, he returned to the Skills Academy for further training and practical experience in a ‘live site’ environment.

He says going back to college felt strange: “After the first few days I did think ‘Oh no, what have I done?’ But I soon got over that.”

It didn’t take long for Galliford Try to recognise Richard’s talent and the company soon offered him a full-time position as a gateman at the construction site in Shortlanesend, near Truro, where he ensures the safety of the site, and checks and organise vehicles entering and leaving the site.

“The Galliford Try team was really helpful and supportive and I really enjoy what I am doing now,” he says. “I am even thinking of staying on in the industry for a few days a week after I retire. What impressed me the most was that Galliford Try was willing to support and train me even though I am in my 60s. It was a great opportunity which meant I could carry on working, I would encourage anyone to give it a try.

“It made me realise that you can achieve lots of things if you are willing to give them a try, it doesn’t matter how old you are.”

Come to listen and talk about housebuilding careers – apprenticeship, diversity, training and leadership – at our New Homes Debate in London on Thursday 15 March 2018.

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