5-minute tea break with Richard Haldane on-site with Harry Fairclough Construction

Richard Haldane - work experience

Harrogate resident and civil engineering university student Richard Haldane joined our Yorkshire team over the summer on a work experience placement at our civic accommodation project for Harrogate Borough Council. We asked him to tell us about his experience and how it will support his future career in the construction industry.

Here’s what he thought to life on-site:

What did you learn during your time on-site?

I learned many things during my placement, including a general view of how the site is run in an effective and safe way. Understanding what each job role involves and many engineering aspects relating to surveying, materials and construction practice.

Do you think the placement has helped with your civil engineering studies?

Yes, definitely. Not only has it reinforced knowledge that I had gained previously, but has also enhanced my knowledge in subjects such as engineering surveying, engineering materials and construction practice and the environment.

What was it like to shadow our Engineer Glen and what did you learn from him?

It was an invaluable experience, being able to learn from someone with an incredible understanding and adept ability in their field. Shadowing Glen taught me many things including a clear understanding of what the site engineer’s role involves, as well as numerous tips and tricks for efficiently working on site.

What was it like to work on such a prominent project based in your home town? 

I was very lucky to have been giving the opportunity to gain experience on site, but to have this opportunity to work on a project that is so significant to my home town, accompanied with the building’s unique design was quite amazing and very fulfilling.

What advice would you give to other students looking to get experience within the construction sector? 

From my personal experience I would have to say, don’t be afraid to turn up on the doorstep of the site displaying your intentions, while showing interest in that specific project and what you are looking for as a result of the work, and remember to bring a CV!


If you’re a school/college or student interested in work experience opportunities on our sites, please get in touch with our work experience co-coordinator Chloe Greenwood – chloe.greenwood@harryfairclough.co.uk 

Building community spirit on-site at Knapping Mount

Harry Fairclough’s Yorkshire site team has been part of the Harrogate community for almost 12 months now and whilst building Harrogate Borough Council’s new civic centre on budget and on time is our number one priority, we have also managed to get out about in the local community, building partnerships and creating employment and training opportunities for local businesses.
Here’s a quick update on some of the highlights so far:

Smashing local labour targets

Engaging local businesses, contributing to the local economy and recruiting a local workforce is an important priority for our Yorkshire site team and at the outset of the project we agreed with Harrogate Borough Council that we would achieve a local labour target of at least 75%. We are very pleased to announce that we have exceeded this target and that 95% of the contractors working on-site, including scaffolders, demolition experts, tree specialists, civil engineers, ground and steelworkers are all from within the local (North Yorkshire and Leeds City Region) area.

Facilitating training and providing work experience opportunities

Richard Haldane - work experienceThe provision of training on-site is an important element of all construction projects that we work on and so far on-site at Harrogate we have provided over 200 weeks of training to the project team. We are continuing to promote trade apprenticeships for young people and all of our sub-contractors are encouraged to bring apprentices to site to be a part of this exciting and important build. As part of our ongoing commitment to promoting careers in construction, we have also employed a local work experience student Richard Haldane on an eight week placement to support his civil engineering studies at university. Read more about Richard here.

Partnering with local schools and colleges

phil-at-careers-fairGetting local schools and colleges involved in the project is a key part of our community relations plan and we have already visited a number of local schools to deliver health and safety presentations, careers talks and have attended careers fairs to promote careers in construction to the next generation. Our ‘experience construction’ partnership with Harrogate College gives local brickwork, joinery and electrical students the opportunity to get involved in the many aspects of the construction of this important building in the district, giving them the chance to experience first-hand what goes into the building process on a project of this scale.
When the landscaping works begin later this year and early next we will be inviting local school children to site to carry out planting works, putting their own stamp on the outside space. We also recently launched the ‘Harrogate Civic Centre Student Artwork Competition’ giving GCSE and A Level art and photography students in the Harrogate district the opportunity to make a lasting mark on the finished building. Find out more about how to register your school here.

If you would like any further information about how your business, school or college can get involved in the Harrogate Borough Council Civic Centre build please get in touch, comment on our blog or email us via our contact us page.

Harry Fairclough recruits local student to ‘experience construction’ on Civic Centre build

RIchard Haldane

Local student Richard Haldane has joined the Harry Fairclough site team for an eight week work experience placement to support his civil engineering studies and future career in the construction industry. Richard has lived in Harrogate, within a five minute walk from the site with his family for a number of years and attended St John Fisher Catholic High School. He knows the area well and was keen to work for a local contractor on a significant project in his hometown.

Richard comments: “I’m currently studying for a civil engineering degree at Nottingham Trent University, having just completed my first year and was determined to use the summer break as an opportunity to gain some valuable hands on training and experience. The Harrogate Borough Council Civic Centre build is almost on my doorstep and provides the opportunity for me to gain some real practical experience to bring my studies to life and give me an insight into the workings of a live construction site.”

Richard Haldane - work experienceRichard joined the Harry Fairclough team at the beginning of August and will complete his placement around the end of September. After a thorough induction process, including health and safety briefings and all processes and systems, Richard will spend a large amount of his remaining time on site shadowing our highly experienced site engineer, Glen Wrigley.

Glen explains: “As a first year civil engineering student this is Richard’s first real taste of what it’s like to be part of the site team on a construction project of this scale. In the coming weeks he will work closely with me on setting out duties, quality assurance measures, liaising with the wider site team and subcontractors and understanding the detail around important details such as site drawings. This is all highly relevant to and will support his studies and with securing further work experience opportunities, as he progresses in his four year course.”

 Councillor Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Enterprise concludes: “It is important that we do all we can to encourage young people who are considering a career in the construction industry. Work experience placements and apprenticeships are a fantastic way of providing people with the opportunity to learn valuable skills and gain practical experience, and we are pleased that this opportunity is being offered as part of the construction of our new civic headquarters. The council already employees apprentices in areas such as our In-House Maintenance Team and offers work placement opportunities, and we are delighted that our suppliers are able to offer such opportunities.”

Work experience placements on our sites are just one of the ways in which we demonstrate our ongoing commitment to promoting careers in construction to the next generation. Read more about our latest schools initiative here