James BurkeJames joined VGC in November 2012.

He is now delivery manager responsible for civil engineering and HS2 teams around Birmingham.

James started his career in construction as a dry liner, before moving to a supervisory role. He became a contracts supervisor for VGC in 2012, and then a labour manager, before his promotion to delivery manager.

James has gained the respect of clients and members of the workforce. Feedback in our 2019 staff survey included:

James Burke is a top guy. VGC is brilliant company to work for.

Client Ferrovial Agroman commended him for “being so proactive in getting and delivering such a positive attitude towards health and safety” at Heathrow.

His team on Crossrail Bond Street station won Costain ‘Defining Blue’ status in 2016, and ‘Contractor of the Year’ awards in 2014 and 2015.

James led the Integrated Labour Team (ILT) for the A14 Cambridge – Huntingdon improvement scheme.

Dalbir and James on A14
Dalbir Singh is one of 23 apprentices James supported on the A14 C2H scheme.

He was involved in the pioneering use of blind CVs in construction recruitment, which led to a more diverse workforce and reduced staff turnover. He also worked with the A14 Integrated Delivery Team to scope a new automated platform for workforce supply.

While working on the project, James supported apprentices. He arranged help for workers who need support to attend lessons in English, literacy and numeracy. And he led a trial of work placements for local unemployed people to help them back into work.

The ILT collaboration was recognised with the Innovation award at the A14 Supply Chain awards in January 2018, and the Highways England ‘improving employee engagement’ award in March 2019.

We look after each other

James is a FIR ambassador and trainer, encouraging fairness, inclusion, and respect, and is a STEM ambassador, supporting people into construction careers. He is also a trained MHFA England mental health first aider.

As part of our Go beyond the gates programme, James worked with CSR manager Kimberley McGinty and labour partner Danny Sullivan Group in supporting ex-offenders into roles on the HS2 enabling works. The programme gained a collaboration award from CSJV in May 2019.

He was shortlisted for the ‘We look after each other’ award in the 2020 go beyond awards, after nominations from office and site staff. One of the site nominations said:

James Burke never lets a question go without an answer, or a solution, and that in no time. A person who cares about people, about their time and concerns, and keeps his word too.

James is just one of the excellent people who are achieving their potential at VGC. If you have a relevant engineering qualification, and want to do the same, we want to hear from you.

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