Steve Bown – Highways Project Manager
What made you join WA? Having been a former WA staff member and starting a permanent role from one of my secondments, re-joining the company was my first thought when I was looking for a new role due to the flexibility offered and the varied and interesting secondments that come through WA. Since then I have been seconded in to both public and private sector roles ranging from access schemes for HS2, town centre public realm improvements to highway and junction improvements promoting local plan growth areas, providing me with the opportunity to develop new skills as well as utilising my existing skills and knowledge.
Have you been involved in education or training? As a staff member of WA I am progressing my ICE Chartership which has been supported by the Training Manager and the PDR process by exposing me to experiences which satisfy the core competency requirements. Other Managers have also supported me by reviewing my submissions in to address the core competencies via the experiential route. This has also allowed for any weak areas to be identified and addressed via both training opportunities and either steering of my current secondment to expose me to the required experience or to looking at new secondments that will address these areas. WA has also identified champions in certain areas that can discuss, disseminate and assist in embedding this knowledge with staff that want to grow their knowledge base.
What secondments have been most interesting and why? All the secondments I have undertaken have been interesting being able to share knowledge and utilise existing skills as well as developing new skills. The change in secondments also allows for a value-added contribution to new roles by carrying forward best practice and methods learned and used in previous roles.
In my current role I am project managing the delivery aspects of an access strategy which sees me dealing with both elected members from County, District and Parish Councils, designers, planners and network management teams as well as residents. We are also working with Highways England to develop a joint communications strategy and a joint Traffic Management and diversions strategy between our scheme and a neighbouring scheme that they have on to ensure that disruption is minimised and that clear communications are presented to local residents and travelling public.
What are the best aspects of working for WA? Waterman Aspen provides a dynamic work environment which allows employees to gain a wide experience with the opportunity to develop whilst working for a rewarding employer. Each new secondment provides both opportunity and challenge allowing for personal development and growth. The ability to bring a wide experience to a role as well as reach back to the knowledge of other WA staff is welcomed by employers to bring in new experience to teams as well as best practice to projects.
Why would you recommend working for WA? During both of my periods with WA I have found that the secondments are highly flexible and extremely rewarding, as well as a great way to develop existing knowledge and learn new skills and best practice. Even though you are seconded to different clients, you feel part of the WA team and feel supported in taking the role forward as well as being part of a company that is invested in developing staff through exposure to experience as well as being able to bounce ideas off of one another to help support both Clients and business development.