Michael-Jay Ruane

I manage a team of five construction professionals which are split into three specialisms Planned Maintenance, Asset Management and Commercial Developments/Lettings. Through the team we manage the upkeep and enhancement of 4500 properties and across over 200 estates. This involves the management of numerous long term multi-million pound cyclical contracts to ensure our estates are kept clean and tidy and maintained to a decent standard. Managing these contracts involve tight budget control, forecasting, procurement and contract administration. All the various contracts need to be closely monitored in terms of performance through key performance indicators.

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Speaking to contractors and clients require
Good communication and negotiation skills, verbal and written. This includes a good grasp and ability to manage people expectations.
The ability to problem solve quickly and efficiently is important to ensure smooth running of contracts.
Strong in maths to control budgets and forecast for the future.

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
Originally, I started gaining experience and training to be an architect, however after working in a couple of practices I decided I preferred building pathology and project management which influenced my university choice to study Building Surveying at Nottingham Trent University. Studying building surveying gave me a broad base knowledge of construction, law and the built environment. Further work experience in London and Jersey gave me a further depth of knowledge to work toward my Chartered Surveyor MRICS accreditation. My recent career progression into management has been the biggest change where I have enjoyed the opportunity and challenge.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
The variety of the work and ability to work in and out of the office. I also get to meet a wide range of clients living within our properties but also contractors who have different trade skills, backgrounds and specialisms. The construction industry offers a great sense of achievement and leaves a legacy of what the team involved have accomplished.

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
Although the construction industry is varied, there is a need to remain resilient and prepared for difficult conversations with clients, contractors and colleagues when works do not quite go to plan or something unforeseen happens. How you deal with these
situations is incredibly important to maintain working relationships for the future.

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
BSc (hons) Degree in Building Surveying at Nottingham Trent University where I obtained a good base knowledge of construction, law and the environment. MRICS Chartered Building Surveyor’s Assessment of Professional Competence through the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which is a world recognised qualification for professionals in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
It’s never too late to change career, the construction industry offers a wide range of opportunity’s in and out of the office environment with numerous avenues for on-Island training through Highlands College. Further to this there is lots of further avenues in the housing sector at Andium Homes, not just construction, such as supporting independent living, nance, allocations, sales and client engagement.

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