Apprentice to manager makes company history

January 10, 2017

High flier Sam Allen has made history for leading East Anglian construction company Bateman Groundworks in its 20th anniversary year.

Sam, 32, is the first employee to join the company as an apprentice and win promotion through all 11 staff levels to become site manager on a prime residential development in Norfolk.

He is now leading a 12-strong team on the fifth phase of a residential development at Round House Park, Cringleford, for Bovis Homes – eight years since he started his first job there on its first phase after his construction apprenticeship.

The father-of-two’s promotion to site manager also makes him the company’s youngest holder of the post.

Sam, who lives at Bradwell, near Great Yarmouth, worked on groundworks for the first 100 homes of the development, which grew to more than 1000 homes covering 40 hectares.

“This is my third time at Round House Park – after my apprenticeship and then back again on Phase Three as a foreman, and now as site manager for Phase Five, where we are putting in the foundations, drainage and other services for the 25 remaining homes to be built.”

Sam’s swift career rise in construction wasn’t on the cards after he completed his qualifications in leisure and recreation at Great Yarmouth College.

“I took up the offer of a full time job in the warehouse at Tesco where I had worked part-time and had never considered construction.”

His sudden change of direction worked, quickly shining during his apprenticeship training at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) training centre at Bircham Newton, where he was nominated for Student of the Year and won other awards.

“I suppose it does seem like a quick rise but I had a great mentor and role model in the foreman I first worked with on our Loddon site for Taylor Wimpey before Bateman Groundworks introduced site managers.

“I learned a lot from my foreman then, Steve Secker, in the six or so years I worked with him. He showed me the technical side of the job. I then went on to become a foreman.

“If it hadn’t been for Steve and learning under his guidance I don’t think I would have picked up as much knowledge and confidence as I have and progressed.”

Site managers – a team of intensively-trained leaders – are unique roles for companies the size of Bateman Groundworks, designed by managing director Richard Bateman to set its client service ahead of competitors.

They ensure closer communication with clients and exemplary health and safety procedures.

Mr Bateman said Sam’s progression “from the bottom to the top on site was all the more special as it was in the company’s 20th anniversary year.

“I’m not at all surprised that Sam was the first. When he was an apprentice he stood out from the outset and he has shown the same commitment, dedication and attitude to succeed throughout.

Sam, who has worked on most of the company’s sites across East Anglia in the last eight years, is now responsible for programming work for the foreman to implement on site and liaising with Bovis Homes.

Great Yarmouth-based Bateman Groundworks – currently working on 15 projects – works with the biggest names in home builders. Its teams are first on site to lay the foundations and prepare the site for the development.

For the second consecutive year, the company, which employs more than 150 people, was listed by the London Stock Exchange in March in its 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain, which recognises the most inspiring, dynamic fast-growing companies. Bateman Groundworks has enjoyed a 25-30% year-on-year growth, increasing its turnover to £17.25 last year.

It was among the final 12 entries to the National Lloyds Bank Business Awards 2016 in the small to medium-sized business category and became Great Yarmouth Spirit of Enterprise Business of the Year and Great Growth award winner last November.