Katy Higgins, labour manager
Based in our Ruislip head office, Katy covers sites at Euston, Kilburn and Acton.
Katy works with the recruitment team to source labour for the project. She interviews all candidates, ensuring they have the right to work in the UK, confirming their identity, and checking their CSCS and other relevant tickets. She also checks for indications of modern slavery, something VGC takes very seriously.
Katy also does our mandatory drug and alcohol (D&A) test – anyone who fails is not eligible to work on any VGC project.
If they pass these checks, Katy will approve their application and book them onto an HS2 induction. Candidates who are successful at this stage are enrolled onto VGC’s payment systems, and then they start on site.
On the day of the operative’s first shift, Katy will meet them on site with their new VGC PPE (personal protective equipment – including VGC branded high-visibility jackets), and introduce them to their site manager.
Katy has weekly meetings with all her operatives to ensure they are well and to answer any questions they may have. She also conducts monthly site inspections with the HSQE team to ensure everyone is working in a safe and healthy environment.
“I really enjoy my role at VGC; it is great to be more client-facing and see such a huge infrastructure project grow from the very start.”
Katy’s father and grandfather also worked in rail: her grandfather was the first train operator to drive the famous ‘Flying Scotsman’. She was always fascinated by the industry, and joined Balfour Beatty Rail as an access co-ordinator before being promoted to roster manager.
Go beyond and give back
“In January 2019 I took part in an employability workshop at HMP Mount. It became clear to me that the serving offenders wanted to better themselves post-release. If we can help them to get a steady job we’ll support them back into everyday life.
“That workshop inspired me to sign up for VGC’s volunteering programme, ‘go beyond and give back’, to support more people who are thinking of a career in the construction industry.
“Just four weeks later, charity Crisis referred a candidate who was long-term unemployed to us. I interviewed him and, after supporting him through his pre-employment tests, I’m very pleased that he has now joined my team.”