From education to employment

A Career in Scaffolding, from Apprentice to Scaffold Director

Lee Marley Brickwork Ltd (LMB), is one of the UK’s leading integrated brickwork, scaffolding and stone sub-contractors. Their scaffolding division is made up of 130 scaffolders, plus drivers, yard operatives, apprentices and other office-based staff. 

The company currently offers both brickwork and scaffolding apprenticeships in order to bring the next generation of tradesmen into the construction.

Jason Baker is 19 and from Dagenham, East London. He left school a year into his A-levels to work full time in sports retail. Deciding this wasn’t the career for him and encouraged by family friends who worked in the construction industry, Jason decided to look into the opportunities available. In November last year he began a 2-year scaffolding apprenticeship at LMB.

Jason’s induction was carried out at Park Royal in Acton, since then he has been labouring on Barking Fresh Wharf. He has been partnered with a Part 2 scaffolder with 10 years-experience, who talks Jason through the work he does. 

Once Jason has completed his apprenticeship, he is looking to progress his career at LMB with a vison to move into scaffold management, spending time out on site with the various teams as well as in the office. Jason really enjoys working within a team and spending so much time outdoors.

His advice for anyone looking to start a career in scaffolding would be: “Learn from others’ experience on site, know your body’s physical limits and where your abilities lie.” 

Conor Simmons is 22 from South East London. In 2017 joined Lee Marley Brickwork as a labourer, then signed up for their apprenticeship scheme and is now working as a full-term Part 2 Scaffolder.  Whilst working for LMB, Conor has achieved his Part 1 and Part 2 in scaffold erecting, he is currently studying for his NEBOSH qualification. Scaffolding is a family trade with both Conor’s dad and Grandad working as scaffolders since a young age, a massive factor for him wanting to work in the industry. 

This young man has big ambitions for the future and hopes to get his advance scaffolding qualification and then his scaffolding supervisor qualification. Further down the line, his plan is to work in project/contract management. 

Conor has worked on many different sites and projects over the 4 years he’s been with Lee Marley, he’s currently working on Chelsea Creek, one of his standout projects and a job that has taught him a lot and given him a wealth of experience. He’s erecting scaffolds and a variety of other things such as installing catch nets and erecting hoist run-offs. Conor has worked on the Chelsea Creek project from the start of the project and has found it really interesting and exciting to see the project grow and move forwards. Other sites include Embassy Gardens, Chelsea Barracks and Kidbrooke Village.

As a scaffolder his days vary, one day he could be erecting or striking a structural lift, to erecting or striking a loading bay. He says:” Every day is a new challenge which is one I’ll always look forward to”.

To others looking to get into the industry Conor comments: “I would 100% encourage others to look into a career in scaffolding or any other sector within construction. It’s a rewarding job and a career you can always progress and learn new things in. My advice to others would be to just go for it. Don’t hesitate or be nervous about a new challenge. It will be rewarding in the long term”. 

Daniel Cooke is a Scaffold Director at LMB. Based in the head office, Daniel divides his time between Reading and across multiple sites, he comments: 

“Scaffolding is widely associated with being a high risk trade to consider, but in reality, is a very safe and enjoyable industry to enter into with the right training. For the younger generation or any generation for that matter, an apprenticeship is a great way to start out a career in scaffolding. We offer our apprentices a dedicated training manager and onsite support from our experienced site teams as well as a mapped-out route of training with providers such as Simian Risk and the CITB. It is definitely a great way to enter into the industry with fantastic earning opportunities and career paths.

Both our founder Lee Marley and I started out as apprentices, making us even more passionate about the success of all the candidates we put through, we are always there to help and guide where needed.  

At LMB we will run twice yearly applications for scaffolding apprentice positions, which usually falls in March and September.” 

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