Chris Young – Divisional Director West Midlands
What made you join WA? I joined Waterman Aspen in May 2007 for the sole reason of gaining wider experience and the opportunity of working for a number of different clients with the security of having one employer. The nature of Waterman Aspen’s business model means I was more likely to have exposure to higher profile projects to enable me to progress my career quicker.
Have you been involved in education or training? Being part of the senior management team in Waterman Aspen I fully appreciate the importance of developing our staff to enable them to fulfil their full potential. I have actively encouraged my staff to progress their Professional Reviews to achieve Chartership, and have encouraged this through supporting performing staff with their development needs including funding post graduate Master degrees etc.
What secondments have been most interesting and why? The two secondments that spring to mind are Project Managing the Local Area Traffic Management Plan for the Papal Visit of Pope Benedict the XVI to Birmingham City in September 2010. This project was particularly interesting and challenging due to the high profile VIP nature. I’m pleased to report the state visit was a huge success cumulating in the delivery team achieving a Chamberlain Award in 2014.
The second being my long-term secondment to Coventry City Council where my role has grown and seen me project manage a number of high profile projects such as the Olympic Torch Relay Event, form part of the delivery team for the Olympic Games Events at City of Coventry Stadium and more recently being the project manager / programme manager role for the £30M Coventry City Public Realm Project.
The programme of public realm improvement scheme in Coventry City that I have been involved in has won several industry awards including the CIHT West Midlands Branch Innovation Award 2013, CIHT National Effective Partnerships Award 2013, Highways Magazine Excellence Awards Most Innovative Highway Authority Scheme Award 2013 etc. In addition my input into these projects has resulted in me being awarded the CIHT West Midlands Young Professional of the Year Award in 2013, along with winning the CIHT / Colas Presentation Award including the welcomed prize of an all expenses paid trip to Paris.
What are the best aspects of working for WA? I find working for a variety of clients and work very exciting and challenging, along with the fact that the company actively seeks to encourage staff to progress. One other key benefit is having the full support of the management team whilst being on secondment. I have always felt part of a team and knowing I had direct support from Waterman managers whilst in my secondment was reassuring along with knowing when my secondment was coming to an end the management team are already working to find my next new position.
Why would you recommend working for WA? In addition to my earlier comments to gaining exposure to high profile projects, I’d recommend Waterman Aspen as an employer as this is a company who likes to develop and promote its staff internally and in my time with Waterman Aspen I’ve seen my own career develop from Senior Engineer to Divisional Director. I owe this to my exposure to high profile secondments but also the support from the Waterman Management Team. I do not believe I would have achieved these successes in the timeframe working for an alternative company.