Labouring job laid the foundations for Katie's successful career in home building

18 August 2017

Katie Henesy

Katie Henesy has never looked back since following her dad into the home building industry by taking a job as a labourer on a construction site.

Uninspired by college life and turned off by the idea of working in an office every day, Katie seized the job opportunity with both hands to find out if a career on site could be the right path to take.

She had gained a little taste of what the industry had to offer when she spent Saturday mornings watching her dad Alex carrying out his duties as a site manager.

But it was only when she started that very first job as a labourer that it truly hit home how much she enjoyed being heavily involved in helping to build homes.

Now, 11 years on, she is site manager at Bovis Homes' attractive new Newton Leys location near the historic village of Newton Longville in Buckinghamshire.

"I had absolutely no idea where the labouring job would take me back then, but it's worked out well and I'm really enjoying what I'm doing now," said Katie, who lives in Rushden, Northamptonshire.

"I kind of fell into the first job a little bit, because I was at college at the time and I didn't like the idea of university - I didn't think it would suit me, I wanted to work.

"Meanwhile my dad - who started off in the building trade as a bricklayer aged 16 - had just started a new job as a site manager.

"He needed a labourer, so because I was umming and ahhing about continuing at college and didn't really know what I wanted to, I thought I'd give it a go.

"When I was a kid, even though I was going into the site office with him, I didn't really get what my dad was doing.

"It was only when I was working out on site as a labourer, finding about all the different bits and pieces, that I found out how much I liked it and decided to make a career out of it.

"After working as a labourer for nearly two years, I completed a trainee assistant programme with another home building company and then came to Bovis Homes in April 2014.

"I was an assistant site manager to start with, before becoming site manager with the company in February 2015.

"I've got two sisters - a child minder and a trainee nurse - and a brother who works on the railways, but I'm the only one who has followed Dad onto site."

Having worked on site for more than a decade, Katie cannot imagine working in anything other than the home building industry.

Getting to grips with the variety of challenges that present themselves each day and the camaraderie among the team is what drives Katie's passion for her role as site manager.

"There is a lot more to the job than I first thought - your priorities are changing all the time - but I think I work better when I've got a million things running through my head," she said.

"What do I enjoy most? It's the variety of it - every day is different - and the craic on site as well.
 
"Maybe because I haven't come straight out of college or university and I started at 18 on site as a labourer myself, it garners a bit more respect. But the guys on site have always been great."