What we do
We’ve a highly-trained workforce of circa 3500, 40 + national operational centres, 4 training hubs and a fleet of over 2500 vehicles.
Can you tell us about your career journey at Kelly Group?
I started my journey with Kelly Group in 2003 as an engineer working on the Virgin Media contract completing customer installations and pulling cables. During that time, I studied for my Law degree in the evenings. In 2007 I decided to pursue a different career which was office based and also included training engineers. During this time, I finished my degree and completed a master's degree in Financial Regulation and Compliance alongside my LPC and became a qualified lawyer.
However, I realised that becoming a lawyer was not the right career path for me and decided to return to Kelly Group in 2013. For the first six months, I trained new-to-field engineers, and later became a Team Manager- a fulfilling role that I enjoyed for many years. In 2017, due to ongoing health issues, I wasn't able to fulfil this role anymore. I was happy to be offered a management role, responsible for our back-office staff in Wembley. This was another fantastic opportunity to gain knowledge about operations behind the scenes.
Due to my extensive experience working in the field and through various departments, I was delighted to be promoted to Operations Manager for the Group’s ERS contract until 2019. During my career journey, I realised that I enjoy working for a contractor company because I can influence how the network is planned and built – it makes me feel proud when the process is done with precise planning and a seamless build. In 2020 I got promoted to PIA Regional Build Manager.
Since my promotion, I am proud to have built an amazing team of engineers for a unique project for Kelly Group’s PIA Virgin Media contract. In my eyes, this is an excellent opportunity for engineers to learn something new as we are the first business to build a hybrid PIA network. We started our project in August last year in Luton and since then, completed 40 areas, with 20 more areas scheduled for the coming months. Our team grew with the project; it all started with me, responsible for planning, designing, and managing engineers. We currently have over 30 people working within my team: a planner, coordinator, project manager, supervisors, surveyors, civils gangs and a team of splicers – it is truly refreshing to see this growth. We currently have a capacity of building a network for 2000 homes a month however, we can upscale if the project further expands.
What does a typical week look like?
I start my week with a team meeting with all our engineers and office staff to review completed jobs during the previous week and share our experiences on what went well and things we can improve. I like to get engineers involved in this because they will give us accurate feedback from the field, and they can also learn from each other. We also put a plan together for the next two weeks. My responsibilities include resourcing materials, negotiating with our client, and payroll. Engineers have a great support system. It is probably my engineering side that likes to get involved in helping them resolve issues they may overcome in the field. I am always available for engineers if they need support, and they never hesitate to reach out for advice. I tend to attend conference calls with Virgin Media’s planning partner to provide insight into those areas that they may have limited information on, and we have experience working within these areas. Sometimes, I review plans sent by our clients and provide feedback. I constantly train my team encouraging them to take on more responsibilities if their workload allows them, to learn from the experience and support their career growth at Kelly Group. The best way of building a network is to work with happy people who are happy working for you - this is my motivation.
Do you have any set goals in mind for the next 12 months?
I’ve got two girls, who are both attending a boarding school with a scholarship. They work hard especially my elder daughter as she is getting ready for her A level exams next year. My goal for this summer is to spend a lot of time with her, going through things she requires help with, including reviewing universities, discussing subject choices, and helping her revise. We are planning to travel to Cape Town during the winter as it is the perfect sunny break the whole family deserves and a great opportunity to spend some time together.
I also set myself goals within my role. When I started this project, I was only comfortable doing about 300 homes a month this expanded to 2000 homes a month. The goal is to increase our capacity to complete 20,000 homes during each quarter, building it in a fair and cost-effective way.
What three words best describe your role?
Before working for Kelly Group, what was the most unusual or interesting job you have ever had?
I was working for United Nations as a researcher working on a project to research the side effects of contraceptive pills. My elder sister used to work as a project manager for an American Non- Governmental Organisation that was helping provide free contraception to African countries. At the time, they had a lot of side effects. I just finished my studies when I started working in this job, so I was delighted to travel the country visiting clinics. I was 20 and a little uncomfortable talking to women about the side effects because some of them are traumatising. I was proud of my work because the results and feedback provided to the manufacturer were helpful and I could see changes happening. For example, doctors started testing blood before prescribing a pill to ensure it is the best option for the individual.
If you could switch your job with anyone else for one week, whose job would you want to experience?
I would like to experience my wife’s job, she’s a banker working for HSBC. When she works from home it just intrigues me what she’s dealing with.
What advice do you have for new Kelly Group engineers coming into the business?
It’s a start of a long journey but if you work hard, it will give good results for you. Patience is key.
Can you tell us about the support channels that are available for our engineers?
I train my office staff about all possible issues that may come up for engineers. It is a new technology, so we constantly learn new things just like engineers. I am always available for engineers, if they need support, they can call me or drop me a message - I will get back to them.
What 3 words would your friends / family use to describe you?
My kids would say I’m funny
Siblings find me friendly
Overall, very Loving
What is your proudest moment (personal or professional)?
I am very proud of my family. A very proud moment in my life is when my first daughter was born, she was born on Christmas Day 17 years ago. She is now doing politics, history of art and business for her A levels. She is currently writing an essay on environmental changes and the side effects of pollution. She’s so smart, I was reading her work and her criticism is amazing, her work sounds very advanced for her age. She always comes to me for advice. She’s also a fantastic singer which makes me very proud. She recently performed on a speech day and when she took the stage everyone went silent watching her. I’m also very proud of my younger daughter she is 13, currently finishing year 8, and will move onto the same boarding school as her sister next year. She’s also a fantastic singer – don’t ask me where the talent is coming from! I spend my free time attending their performances - it makes me happy and proud every time I watch them.