Can SMEs in construction still invest in their people? Senior Quantity Surveyor Jack Hall explains how MGM Construction has supported his personal development.

One of the best things about Jack Hall’s job with MGM Construction is the variety of his workload.

“A typical day doesn’t really exist,” he says. “It is very hard to plan out what would happen on any given day because this industry moves so fast. We have standardised processes of course but one of the great things about construction is every project is different.

“I can be working on anything from damp proofing in social housing, to a school fit-out, to a £2 million refurbishment of a secure unit at a hospital. Right now, I am pricing up building a new supermarket so you can see it is very varied work.”

As part of MGM’s commercial team, Jack works across all commercial divisions of the business, including education, healthcare, and new build.

“It can be slightly different to a traditional QS role as we do all the estimating as well,” he says. “When MGM gets an invitation to tender, we price the job, by analysing the tender and sending out enquiries to sub-contractors, and so on. If we win the job then I look after all the financial aspects of the project from placing orders with sub-contractors, monitoring variations, dealing with applications from subcontractors, issuing our own applications to clients and reporting those commercial figures internally to accounts.”

His role also requires reacting fast to changing environments. “There are always scenarios and challenges that pop up unexpectedly and require urgent action – however it is how you react to those challenges that is important,” he adds. “At MGM webelieve in the importance of maintaining good relationships with our clients and supply chain. You need to keep the money moving up and down the chain, as cash flow is vital in this industry.”

Jack has been at MGM Construction for seven years and is a great example of how a north east construction contractor should invest in its people.

“MGM put me through my university degree, so I was working here and studying at the same time,” he says. “They are now paying for my Masters in construction law, which I do in my own time. If you are prepared to put in the effort, they are prepared to back you which I think is great. They really do want you to achieve your full potential.”

Jack is now helping to pay that forward, supporting the company’s trainee quantity surveyor. “I am part of the commercial team which includes the Commercial Manager, Chris, and Patrick our trainee QS,” he says.“Chris and I both play a role in helping and mentoring Patrick, just as I was mentored. In a smaller company you thrive if you have a culture of always helping each other.”

When he is not at work, Jack enjoys socialising and playing five-a-side football. He is also a season ticket holder at Newcastle United. “It’s been a fantastic season and the club is clearly going places. In that respect it’s similar to working for MGM!”

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