Callum Jackson – The Depot Manager
I work as a Depot Manager at Wernick Hire’s Portsmouth Depot, but thanks to the Wernick Graduate Scheme, I’ve worked all over the Wernick Group!
I chose the scheme as it offered opportunity to move around with work and learn lots of different skills. I was intrigued by the chance to engage with every stage of the construction process, and learn about the work that goes into every product we sell. The fact that Wernick was a family company was really appealing to me too; I thought that a family environment would offer me a close knit team to work with and that everyone would be helpful – and I was entirely right about that!
I’ve been all over the UK with the training scheme. I worked in Widnes and Banbury with Wernick Hire and I was based in Aldridge during my time with Wernick Construction. I even lived in Swansea during my time with Wernick Buildings at Kenfig; it was great living so close to the beach during the summer! I think you need to be quite flexible if you’re undertaking the graduate scheme, and happy to travel to all those different places. You also need to be unafraid to try something new. In every depot I visited, I took on a different role; from working on the factory floor to assisting with managing a Hire Depot. So it’s important that you just get stuck right in with the all the experiences on offer.
My favourite part of the process was my time at Kenfig working on the factory floor. It was hard work, but it was really enjoyable. You gain a lot of knowledge about the products when you see the construction process start to finish like that. I think that’s one of the best things about the Grad Scheme here, the entire construction process becomes visible to you; from making the units to handing the keys over to a client. It means that now as a Depot Manager, I am 100% confident in my knowledge of all Wernick products as well as all the steps involved in making and selling them.
I got to be involved in so many different projects through the scheme, from temporary classrooms to site welfare to permanent office blocks. My favourite project was working on Carillion’s renovation of Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium. We provided 3 large AVflex™ 2 storey modular accommodation blocks and a number of standalone cabins for the construction crews and over-seers. My role included liaising with the client to develop a layout that met their requirements, programming in the works to manufacture the units and managing the installation. I loved being involved – but as a Manchester United fan it was a little bittersweet to be helping out at our biggest rival’s new stadium!
The most important thing I learnt on the scheme was to be honest. If you find yourself struggling (which you inevitably do when you’re learning) you should hold your hands up rather than suffer in silence. We’re lucky at Wernick to have the kind of environment where people want to support you, from the factory foremen right up to the senior management – you can always ask for help. I had frequent meetings with directors at the Hire depots to check on my progress and make sure I was being given all the skills I needed to start my career here. It’s such a nice environment when people are invested in you succeeding like that.
Since finishing the Graduate Scheme I moved to Portsmouth to become Acting Depot Manager, where my role was closely overseen by Simon Bowler, the Regional Manager for the South Coast. After a few months learning, I was signed off as Depot Manager and got to put all my training into action. In the past few months at Portsmouth I’ve been involved in a variety of projects; our Depot recently won the Hire Growth Award for improving our sales numbers, and in September I took part in the Cancer Challenge Trans-Pennine Cycle with other Wernick employees to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK. There are so many opportunities to take advantage of at Wernick; you just have to jump right in!