Young talent can find a home in the highways industry.

In the second of a new employee insight series, Estimator, Ben Herborn, explains how data and analytical skills helped him pave a career in the construction sector.

When I graduated from university with a degree in Performance Analysis, I had a completely different career path in mind. The world of road planing and the construction industry seemed light-years away from my academic background.

I assumed that construction wasn’t an industry I naturally fell into. I’ve never worked in any labour-intensive jobs, I studied performance analysis at university, and I worked in a bar, none of these avenues seemed like they conventionally led to the construction industry or that I had the skills to fall into this industry.

However, I came across a role in the sales team at Jet Plant. At that time, I can honestly say I didn’t know what road planing was (I actually thought planing was a spelling mistake in the job advert!) and I was unconvinced that I was capable due to my lack of sales experience.

But I knew that I didn’t want to carry on working in a bar. I was at cross-roads so needed to explore new opportunities and see where my knowledge and skills learned at university could fit. I guess it’s a common experience many university graduates have when they eventually start looking for work.

Jet Plant Truck

I surprised even myself when I landed the role. The interview had been a success and the business owners had seen something in me, and my analytical approach to tasks.

My early days at Jet Plant were made significantly easier by the supportive culture and the experienced colleagues in the road planing industry who surrounded me. Their guidance and willingness to help made the learning process smooth and continuous. I’ve never stopped learning and growing since I joined the company, and the organisation has always encouraged professional development through training opportunities.

Through this ongoing training and development, I have been able to move up the ranks from the sales team and into my role as an Estimator.

The transition from my education in Performance Analysis to road planing felt like a big leap, but in reality, it was more of a gradual move that came with a lot of realisations along the way.

I came to Jet Plant feeling like I had no experience or skills in the trade but that wasn’t the case. What I bring is an analytical and thoughtful approach, with decisions driven by the data. Road planing demands precision and optimising performance. It requires mathematical thinking. Skills that are right up my street!

Ben In Meeting

Like many people I guess, I imagined that these kinds of skills were not something you’d associate with road planing. But in reality, they are key to everything. They ensure that as a business we get things done in the most efficient way possible. For our business and our customers.

So many people fall into the trap of studying one thing and believing that their career will lead down one direct path, but that’s rarely the case.

Our industry offers a multitude of positions that can make use of diverse skill sets, providing genuine opportunities for career advancement and personal growth. The rewards are there for the taking. As an industry, we must do a better job of highlighting these opportunities and encouraging young graduates to consider the vast potential the planing and highways sector has to offer.

For young people leaving university, I encourage you to consider careers in the planing and highways industries. Your education equips you with valuable skills that can contribute to the efficiency and progress of these sectors. It’s a journey worth taking.

Read the first employee insight blog with our Business Improvement Director, Tina Greenhill, here.

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