Ambar Kelly

News & Views


March 22 2021

When it comes to job opportunities construction is brimming with possibility. As well as offering a range of pathways, the prospect of continuous development is high, meaning that for many a career in construction is one for life. Rachael Groves, a newly appointed Contracts Manager at Ambar Kelly, gives insight into how she arrived where she is today and why she loves working in construction.

Q: How did you get into construction?

RG: My route to construction was a little unconventional to say the least. I studied geography at university and then journeyed into a real variety of jobs including teaching children with learning difficulties, being a dive master in Thailand and managing restaurants. These experiences equipped me with the people, management and interpersonal skills that I use in my current role, albeit in a different way.

I was able to deploy these skills – and learn new ones – when I took a purchase ledger role for a concrete frame contractor. I progressed quickly to the technical team and then joined Ambar Kelly as an estimator in September 2017.

Q: What did this role entail?

RG: In my first role as an estimator at Ambar Kelly I was tasked with pricing jobs and doing take off, assisting clients and keeping track of tenders. My job developed in many unexpected ways and I was really able to hone my strengths.

Q: What led you to your new role as a Contracts Manager?

RG: I had already begun assisting with the clients, but the key moment was being asked to be involved on the 1 Triton Square project. It was a complex job contractually so it meant all hands on deck.

I visited site every week throughout the duration of the year-long project. I was responsible for ensuring all correspondence was logged; I visited site a few times to meet people and solve problems. It was more operational and reactive in a way. I had a great time.

It really enabled me to form a solid relationship with the William Hare and Lendlease teams and I am now bumping into these people on new projects we have secured! It definitely helps move the project along as we all know each other.

In terms of why I moved to this role, I realised I needed more of a challenge. I am an outdoorsy person and wanted to be onsite meeting people and developing my management skills. As with all of us, I needed more responsibility as well.

From a skills point of view, at Ambar Kelly I’ve been able to learn AutoCAD on a basic level and have attained greater product knowledge. I have built relationships with site contacts in a way that is contributing to the growth of the company. We all work very closely to reach this common goal for everyone – and the business!

Q: What will you bring to this role?

GB: My colleague James Cousins is more senior than me and has lots of hands-on site experience. We really bounce off each other and each brings a different dimension to the job.

Q: Why do you enjoy construction?

RG: There is never a dull day. I do wish I’d got into the industry earlier. University isn’t the only option and apprenticeships in construction are a great pathway into the industry.

It’s a really exciting time to be working at Ambar Kelly too; there’s lots of potential from a business perspective and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

In terms of my future, I could see myself getting involved in other aspects of the business but we will see how it goes! I am enjoying where I am now, growing at Ambar Kelly.

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