Curious About Construction: Jamie Archer

From left; Jamie Archer, Sam Squire, Alex Hughes and Curious Entrepreneur Bo

Curious About Construction is bridging the gap between inactivated NEET young people in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area and the construction industry that so desperately needs them. We’re proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with mental health advocate, Jamie Archer whose story is a shining example of how hard work, determination, and the right attitude can take you far in life, even if you start with no qualifications.

Jamie’s story

At the age of 16, Jamie left school with no GCSEs and joined the army, but he didn’t do particularly well there. At 19, he found himself back at home, with his parents giving him a very clear instruction to get a job. After a short period working in the prison service Jamie found himself working on a building site behind Tesco in St Neots, that would change his life forever.

As soon as he set foot on the site, Jamie was blown away by the camaraderie among the workers and the respect they showed for the hierarchy and for the site manager. He decided then and there that he wanted to be a part of this world, and he started working on the site as a labourer.

Despite having no formal qualifications, Jamie worked hard and demonstrated a willingness to learn. He moved up the ranks, working his way to become a Site Manager and then up to Construction Director. Today, Jamie is a Construction Manager working for a well-known roofing and construction business and is currently committed to helping recruit young people into the industry from the St Neots area.

Characteristics rather than skills

When Jamie meets anyone new coming into the business, he focuses on work values, ethics, motivation, and personal characteristics, rather than qualifications or GCSEs. He knows from his own experience that anyone can succeed in the construction industry if they have the right mindset, attitude and characteristics.

Jamie is a passionate advocate for the construction industry and the opportunities it can offer young people. He knows first-hand that a career in construction can be highly lucrative, with starting rate of around £14 per hour, regardless of age. He also understands the value of on-the-job training and learning, and he is committed to helping young people develop their characteristics to succeed in the industry.

Curious About Construction

With the construction industry set to lose a significant portion of it’s workforce, Curious About Construction are playing a vital role in changing and raising the profile of construction as a career for young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. We’re working closely with industry partners, including Bidwells and Mick George, to helping solve the biggest challenges they’re facing, largely recruiting the next generation. 

If you’re a young person keen to take your first steps into the construction industry or a construction business looking to get involved with Curious About Construction, we’d love to hear from you.

Further reading