Darren Duery

Steel Ship to Super Sewer

Tideway Talk spoke to ex-serviceman Darren Duery at the end of his work placement at Tideway East.

Please tell us about your time in the Armed Services.

I joined the Royal Navy straight after my A-Levels as an Artificer Apprentice and trained as a Mechanical and Electrical Engineer, serving for almost 29 years. When I left last November, I was Warrant Officer 1,

the highest non-commissioned rank. Despite ups and downs, it was an amazing experience and I got to travel the world: I fell in love with Australia, served in the Middle East and provided disaster relief after the eruption of Montserrat, in the West Indies.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in construction?

I attended a presentation given by BuildForce – an initiative which supports ex-service personnel into construction careers – and was intrigued. Using their network of connections, BuildForce secured me a number of site visits in December. I realised construction would be a good career choice: there’s the familiarity of structure and teamwork which I have from the Navy and the principles and equipment aren’t that dissimilar – a ship is basically a floating building!

What have you done during your time at Tideway?

I’ve had a busy two weeks. Andy Brown was very helpful in making connections on my behalf, allowing me to visit different teams and see the project from a management perspective.

I’ve worked with five or six teams, including: surveyors, tunnelling, health and safety, mechanical and lifting. The fast pace really suited me – I don’t like to sit still for too long! I didn’t have a favourite department, but they all fitted together like a jigsaw to show me the bigger picture of how a large construction project is run.

Have you enjoyed your time at Tideway?

Yes – it’s proved to be not only interesting but very valuable in helping me understand construction projects.

I had the chance to meet lots of people across the project and spend time on site meaning I got a holistic view of peoples’ roles, the project’s engineering challenges and interaction between teams. I was fully inducted like any new member of staff (I thought EPIC was really powerful and well-put) and I had a swipe card and PPE so I felt fully integrated in the team which was great. I also liked the familiarity of methods, the organisation of work and how friendly everyone was. I will recommend the work placement to others leaving the military.

What are you plans for the future?

I am looking for a job in construction! My time at Tideway has given me a firm start and I feel much more confident about walking out onto site now – I won’t be the new guy who doesn’t know how anything works.

Source: http://tidewayeast.newsweaver.com/TidewayTalk/1wbn3felbeuzn9xgkn1um5?email=true&a=1&p=2117925&t=131340

UPDATED Feb 2019

Following attendance at our last Armed Forces insight day in the SW, we’re delighted to announce that Darren will be starting employment with Faithful & Gold in March. In Darren’s words: “my Buildforce experience has been a success and especially through the insight days. In my case with F&G picking up on my CV and short conversations that ultimately led to interviews and a role. For me this is just one of several indications of the construction industry being open to recognising potential in Ex-Service personnel and their skills.” 
 
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Darren Duery

Darren Duery served in the Royal Navy for almost 29 years

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