James AndrewsJames Andrews joined VGC in 2010 as a site operative; now he’s a labour manager.

He says he appreciated the friendly welcome and the support VGC gave him when he joined.

Starting with a green labourer’s CSCS card and some experience in construction, it wasn’t long before he had worked his way up to the position of site person in charge.

In July 2014 he was lead site person in charge at Whitechapel Crossrail, where he was given a ‘Step Up’ award by the senior management team of our client Balfour Beatty Morgan Vinci JV. They commended the quality of his site briefings, noting that he maintained good housekeeping, and always warned those entering about the site-specific risks.

James Andrews with award
James with his Step-Up safety award

In 2015 James was promoted to recruitment support officer, responsible for sourcing trades and labour for VGC’s projects across the UK. He became senior recruitment support co-ordinator the following year.

James volunteered to be a mentor for BuildForce in February 2017, shortly after the launch event. VGC is a key supporter of the programme, which works to help ex-services personnel into construction and engineering. As he said at the time: “I believe I can help because I have experience of working my way up through various construction role.”

Looking after our people

In 2017 James joined the team at our Canning Town office, working as a contract supervisor. In August 2018 he was promoted to labour manager, looking after the day to day needs of projects west of London, and supporting our people on site. He manages everything for ‘his’ clients, from sourcing operatives, to supporting payroll to ensure they’re paid correctly, and assisting with health and safety matters.

As labour manager for the huge M4 smart motorway project, James works closely with partners from Danny Sullivan, Fortel, Hercules and Zone. He supports head of HSQE Richard Wheeler in plant-vehicle marshal training, to improve safety on site, and discreetly mentors ex-offenders who have joined as part of our Go beyond the gates programme.

He says the best part about working for VGC is the closeness of the whole company: “everyone is friendly, and even senior management take the time to have a catch up with you.”

Every day is different; from meetings with clients to sourcing labour to tackling reports and time sheets. There’s never a dull moment!

Find out more about our team of operations and labour managers, and how they work to support our people and our clients.

If you have a CSCS card and want to join our team, please register for work with us.

We also have information about the career paths in construction and also how to get your CSCS card.