When he was just 21 years old, Warrington lad Ashley Terron went and won the WorldSkills bricklaying competition. Since then there’s been no stopping him and he’s risen through the ranks to become a Site Manager at Redrow Homes.
We sit down for a brew (or a water) to hear what he’s been up to and find out what makes him tick.
Ashley, thanks for taking the time out to speak to us . Tell us how you got started in your trade!
I first started as a bricklayer after leaving school, following in the footsteps of my eldest brother and father who are also bricklayers. I did three years day release as part of an Apprenticeship Programme at Warrington Collegiate to gain my bricklaying qualifications. Then I went on to study for my HNC Construction & Property at the University of Salford.
What’s your job now?
I’m now a Site Manager at Redrow Homes, working on a brand new development in Chester. I am also in my last year of study at the University of Salford to gain my BSc (Hons) Construction Project Management degree.
Describe a typical day for you
A typical day involves ordering materials and organising trades on-site to ensure build programmes are adhered to, as well as managing all health and safety aspects on-site. Dealing with customers post completion is also a big part of my job to make sure they’re happy with their new home.
How do you go above and beyond for your customers?
I like to think I go above and beyond for my customers by dealing with any issues as promptly as possible and helping out where I can on-site. It could be anything really from helping them move furniture in or setting stuff up in their new house to make them feel more at home.
If you had to choose, what’d be your favourite bit of kit?
My favourite bit of kit when I was a bricklayer was no doubt my Marshalltown 11″ Philadelphia trowel – that was the money maker!
How do you unwind off-site?
I unwind off-site by going to the gym, meeting up with friends for a few Peroni’s, or just chilling and enjoying a bit of peace and quiet after a busy day.
Which piece of work/achievement are you most proud of?
The piece of work I am most proud of is obviously winning the gold medal at WorldSkills Leipzig 2013, where I represented the UK at the World Finals. After beating thousands of potential candidates in the UK, I got to represent the UK against the best from across the globe. I was up against 26 other nations, and beat them all after the 3 ½ day competition building three walls to a zero tolerance standard. I also managed to achieve the highest ever score in the biannual competition.
Aftewards, I was involved with a lot of work nationally and internationally promoting apprenticeships due to my success story and as a result I was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2014, and awarded a British Empire Medal for services to skills.
Blimey. We’re brewing up – what’s yours?
I get some stick for it, but I don’t drink tea or coffee… I’ll stick to my water fountain.
Finally, what’s your top bit of advice for anybody thinking of starting out in a trade?
Secure an apprenticeship, if possible and do your three years at college to become fully qualified in your chosen trade. This gives you a good foundation to go into further study if you wish, and also makes you a far better tradesperson as you understand the reasons behind doing stuff in a certain way.