Jamie Horgan is the new Development Manager at the Mount Anvil Centre of Excellence. He’s a new face around the training centre, so we sat down to find out what makes him tick and why Mount Anvil is the perfect place for him.
Hi Jamie, can tell us a bit about yourself—where were you before Mount Anvil and how did you get here?
Prior to Mount Anvil I was working in business development for a subcontractor. I contacted Mount Anvil through my previous company in order to tender for work on the Queen’s Wharf project in Hammersmith. I came in for a meeting with the Estimating Director, and there was one thing he said that sincerely stuck in my mind—he said that Mount Anvil were serious about the legacy of their projects. That really chimed with me and values that are core to how I work. I had never heard anybody emphasise those points, or speak as positively about the construction industry as he had, and I knew straight away that Mount Anvil was very different to anyone else I’d worked with, or for.
After that meeting my whole focus changed. I had gone to Mount Anvil to bid for work on one of their projects, but I left thinking about my future, what mattered to me in a job, and how I could work for them.
How did your move to Mount Anvil come about?
I had been so struck by this positive feeling that Mount Anvil staff give off, and the proactive culture within their office. I’ve spent a lifetime in the construction industry, from hod carrying to boardroom meetings, and I just hadn’t seen that attitude anywhere else.
The more research I did the more I felt Mount Anvil was the right place for me—ten years as one of the ‘Best 100 Small Companies to Work For’ is a massive achievement in such an aggressive industry. I wanted to be a part of a business like that, and I was at a point in my career where I was looking for a company to commit to long-term, to grow with and to help grow. I saw a position come available and applied immediately. I came in for my first interview with (Health and Safety Director) Simon Walker, and was blown away by his passion and enthusiasm. Everything just drew me further into the company, and here I am.
Tell us about your role at the Centre of Excellence.
The Centre of Excellence is the Health and Safety training arm of Mount Anvil. My role as Development Manager is to get our name out there to people and companies that perhaps don't know that we offer training. Last time Mount Anvil had an audit from the British Safety Council they awarded us a score of 99.93%, making us the UK's number one company for Health and Safety. That's unheard of—it's phenomenal. Mount Anvil has learnt a lot of lessons, shared a lot of best practices and honed a lot of processes to get to this point, so we've got a lot of knowledge to share. The Mount Anvil Centre of Excellence tag line is 'Learn from the Leaders', and I'm very keen to spread that message and expand our current client base. It's early days for me, but I couldn't be more excited to get out there, grow the business, and play my part in making the industry safer.
So it sounds like stepping from your previous role into this one was very natural for you?
Absolutely. The last two jobs I've held were both business development roles in construction, but the real difference here is that, rather than chasing specific projects and moving on, I can get really stuck in to one very, very worthwhile thing. The Centre of Excellence has been running for about 18 months and it's already doing an amazing job, honestly. I'm here to help move that forward, and I'm already spending my days targeting businesses to gain an appreciation of their training requirements, and conveying the fact that Mount Anvil Centre of Excellence could become a trusted training partner.
It sounds like you've found the move very rewarding?
I really have. What could be more rewarding than developing the part of the business that makes our industry safer? It's what gets me up in the morning. What's great about the Centre of Excellence is that it's not only about getting people in and teaching them in a practical way how not to hurt themselves—it's about sharing the whole approach to Health and Safety and educating people to incorporate sound Health and Safety procedures into their job roles.
Health and Safety is a very difficult thing to quantify. If someone hurts themselves on site and site has to close while an investigation takes place, that closure costs you tens of thousands in down time and pushes delivery schedules back. Implementing a positive Health and Safety culture is essential, but it can be difficult to put a value to that. That's something that I'm very keen to address with people.
Why do you think Mount Anvil was such a perfect fit for you or vice versa?
I was meeting with project teams consistently in my previous job role, and I was so impressed by Mount Anvil throughout all of my exchanges with them. They were always on top of their figures, always checking on whether we had the accreditation they required, and they always emphasised that doing the right thing for the project—even where it cost them more – was essential. I can tell you that's not how project teams generally approach mid-tender reviews.
There's just a real sense of values-led working that seems to run throughout the business here. I've met staff from every level of the business since I started, and there's a very real commitment to doing the right thing, giving your best and leaving a positive legacy. Mount Anvil operates how I like to operate.
So, what’s next for the Centre of Excellence?
It’s onwards and upwards from here! We will grow, we will improve, and we will bring in new business through building long-lasting professional relationships. I want us to get to a point where we need to clone Alastair (Alastair Malcolm, Trainer), so we’ve got two incredibly experienced people providing exceptional training. I want us to be fully-booked and continuing to lead the industry in Health and Safety training. It feels good to know that it’s on me to help that happen.