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Climbing the career ladder at Sewell

Dozens of employees at Sewell Group have been supported to climb the internal career ladder in the last decade.

Career progression is something which is wholeheartedly encouraged within the 140-year-old business, with at least 75 staff working their way up the ranks.

From starting out as tradesmen or roles on the shop floor and progressing to management level, to making the leap from a building site to directorship positions, growth is encouraged across the workforce, which now stands at almost 500 staff.

Managing Director Paul Sewell said: “I see it as a talent pipeline. If you get people coming in at entry level and they see others who have progressed before them, they realise there are no barriers, apart from their own hard work and talent.

“You’re expected to progress and develop, you have to be good at what you do, and we want to maximise people’s potential.

“People can be as good as they want to be. You can’t want more for people than they want for themselves, but I feel we are duty bound to encourage it.

“It’s also protective of our culture. You build a certain culture and DNA for a business, and people share those values.

“Operationally, if someone goes off sick or on maternity leave, the person in front of them comes back 50 per cent and the person behind steps up 50 per cent to fill the gap so, suddenly, you don’t have to hire anybody else.

“The pipeline of talent is really important to our business in ensuring people know there are real career progression opportunities here.

“If you have a pipeline and know you are valued, you have a home for talent.”

There are dozens of examples of career progression across the Group, including Graham Lawson and Danny Walker, who started their careers as joiners and are now both Sewell Construction Site Managers.

In addition, Katie Crosby joined as a Helpdesk Operator and is now Helpdesk Team Leader in Sewell Facilities Management.

Graham, who joined Sewell in 1996 and took on a supervisory role before becoming a Site Manager, said: “Career progression is offered to you and it’s encouraged, but it’s all down to you as an individual.

“I really wanted to progress and I enjoy it all, from starting something new to seeing the finished product and the client’s reaction.”

Danny, who started as an apprentice joiner in 2005, said he was grateful for the extra responsibility he was afforded as his career progressed.

“If you show willing, Sewell will support you,” he said.

“I have always been encouraged and the more I asked to do, the more they were willing to help my career to progress.”

Becky Oughtibridge, Head of People at Sewell Group, said it is important there are no restrictions on future development for staff, opening doors for them and supporting their career aims and ambitions.

“We prefer to grow people from within because they live our behaviours and culture more,” she said.

“If people progress naturally, they also have more loyalty to the business.

“We really believe in supporting our staff to progress and building on their talents and enthusiasm.”