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.” 
For information about all our BuildForce and alliance members’ events see our Events page
Darren Duery

Darren Duery served in the Royal Navy for almost 29 years

Share This