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Trainee Construction Site Manager: The ongoing Journey

By Krystal Hutchinson, Apprentice Site Manager at BAM Construction UK.

London, UK

Why did I choose a Site Management career path?

Whilst growing up, I found watching shows like Grand Designs really interesting, and that inspired me to work in Construction. I found the process of design ideas coming to life intriguing and the fact that there is something tangible at the end of all the effort is what I really liked the idea of. Being able to walk past a building that I have been involved in and say ‘hey I built that!’ was really enticing! This is why I could never go into another career that did not provide that tangible reward.

#ApprenticeWay: Apprenticeship route over the traditional route

I knew I wanted to go into Construction when I left school, but I also knew I didn’t want to go off to full time further education like university, so I looked into Apprenticeship programs.

The apprenticeship route would give me a wide range of exposure into different roles within the Construction Industry.

The idea of being able to develop my knowledge in several areas such as Quantity Surveying, Design Management, Health and Safety and Site Manager by spending time with experts in each discipline felt more useful to me than full time education.

Krystal on Site: BAM Construction UK.

How has it been so far within the industry, especially being a young diverse woman?

My experience so far has been great. Lots of challenges, learning new things on a daily basis. Being part of the world of construction, learning how to handle a global pandemic and new ways of virtual working in a traditionally non-virtual industry has been very interesting.

I really enjoy meeting new people from all walks of life, from different backgrounds and nationalities, all with their own specific skill set working towards the same goal - this is definitely something you find in construction, but we need to push for more females and more diversity. It is improving all the time, but I hope I can help improve it more.

The apprenticeship course with BAM allows me to have exposure to different roles in construction, which helped me choose which I liked most – which was Site Management! It also made me appreciate the roles my various team members play within the construction world.

Krystal on Site: BAM Construction UK.

My apprenticeship gives me practical hands-on experience on a day to day basis, whilst undertaking the academic side with block release programs in University.

Shadowing experienced people and being given my own elements of work to look after really helps me progress - I'll also obtain a degree at the end of it (hopefully a 1st!).

One thing I have noticed is that Construction used to be a predominantly white male industry, but working for BAM Construct UK, I feel extremely included. I do think the industry can do more to promote young Black and Ethnic Minorities into Construction as it is such a great industry! That’s why I am trying to use my platform to reach out to people like me to move into and make waves in the construction sector!

CGI of project: St Pancras Way, BAM Construction UK.

Why is inspiration within the industry important?

Construction doesn’t come across as the most glamorous industry, but it actually is! It's not all mud and rain (although there is a bit of that!), there are a lot of intelligent and skilled people from all different backgrounds that come together collaboratively to produce something that will outlive most people.

But how are young females who see builders with their trousers around their behinds, going to think that this is the industry for them?

It takes people (hopefully) like me, using the world of technology and social media to show them what they can be part of, and hopefully become successful within a brilliant industry.

This is why I have started my Instagram page @konstructwithkrystal, working for BAM Construct UK on St Pancras Campus in Camden London, to document what my daily life entails, from the mud and the rain to the amazing feats of Engineering, the work we do to help the Community and how we work collaboratively as a team. Hopefully it helps inspire people as much as I want it to!

Any exposure from people like me in the industry will hopefully inspire more young women into Construction. I have already been featured in Construction Manager Magazine through my work with BAM Construct UK, and hopefully this, along with other inspiring Black women will help push this movement for change within the industry.

Krystal on Site: BAM Construction UK.

My advice for other young women considering a Site Management Career!

Come and join me! Seriously, don’t be afraid of joining a ‘male dominated industry’, there is so much to learn and everyday is different. The more women that join, the less male dominated it will be.

There are loads of different roles within the industry, so there is a role for you.

I love the hustle and bustle of being on site, but you could work with the Design Team, with the Maintenance Teams, within Corporate Social Responsibility or Diversity and Inclusion itself. There are so many options to choose from - the hardest part is picking the one for you, and I would be happy to help you with that if you need any advice!

Gain some onsite experience if you can, which helps when applying for a construction role. BAM Construct UK and other Main Contractors and our supply chains offer work experience so you can see what we really do, or you could keep following my insta! @konstructwithkrystal.

Don’t be afraid to ask ‘stupid questions’, there have been so many times where I have deliberated as to whether I would ‘look silly’ asking a question that other people may feel the answer is obvious. Sometimes it is, but sometimes that question makes the most experienced people look at the problem in a different way and helps solve it, so don’t be afraid!

The most rewarding part for me is the progress, just like Grand Designs, seeing the idea or the vision on a piece of paper and watching that turn into something real in front of you is something that you just can’t beat, hopefully you feel the same!

Instagram: @konstructwithkrystal

LinkedIn: Krystal Hutchinson


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