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Working lives

Careers: Jason Orman, 30, is a site agent with Fox Contracting (Owmby)

Route to the job

I entered the construction industry in 1990 as a setting out engineer for contractor AF Budge, obtaining my professional qualifications between 1990 and 1994.

I gained experience from working on a wide range of projects throughout the country, including road works, structures and land remediation and regeneration schemes. Having a keen ambition to progress into management by the time I was 30, I eagerly accepted the post of site agent/ engineer for Fox Contracting in 1996.

Expectations

I knew that joining Fox Contracting was going to be a big step, but the contracts I had previously been involved in had given me a good grounding for the type of work Fox is involved in.

Reality

Since joining Fox Contracting I have worked all over the country and have been involved in a wide variety of projects including civils and building work, landfill development, remediation works and flood prevention schemes.

Working as a site agent for a smaller civil engineering contractor means that on some contracts you have to be prepared to undertake several roles - engineer, foreman and quantity surveyor all rolled into one. I do, however, receive good support from the contracts directors. The project I am currently involved in is a land reclamation contract with a value of approximately £2M in Reading, Berkshire. On a day-to-day basis I have to deal with procurement of labour, plant and materials, preparation and implementation of health and safety method statements and risk assessments. I also have to deal with the client and consultants and prepare programmes, progress reports and quality assurance documentation.

In the future, I would like to progress to the position of contracts manager and eventually director of a civil engineering company.

Advice

My main advice for anyone thinking of doing what I do is that you have got to be fully committed to your career and be prepared to work long hours. If you're married, then you'll need the support of your partner and family.

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