Developing future building and construction industry talent

‘It’s a pretty simple approach that makes absolute sense,’ advances Jerry Willis of specialist building services consultants HLG Associates. ‘When it comes to future workforce, you must speculate to accumulate.’

‘In other words, long-term success depends on short-term investment. And for our local building and construction industries it’s absolutely the right approach. Accumulating long-term talent needs willing speculation on supporting short-term learning and development. It’s an approach that HLG is increasingly committed to.’

There’s wide acceptance that future economic and social success for Jersey and Guernsey requires strong and capable building and construction industries. Especially as our islands get to grip with delivering the buildings, infrastructure and services needed in a post-Covid, pro-sustainability world.

Yet there’s also recognition these industries, in turn, are bounded by availability of people, knowledge and skills needed to fulfil expectations.

Finding that talent in the future will surely be a major challenge. Competition for resources is likely from jurisdictions eying the same opportunities and facing the same constraints.

This highlights the importance, as HLG’s Jerry underlines, of speculating on people development now to accumulate sufficient and suitable resources for the future.

‘One way of achieving this is through engaging those presently entering the workforce with exciting opportunities and attractive packages,’ he asserts, ‘and by offering meaningful support and encouragement to those studying towards future building and construction careers.’

In Jersey, HLG’s engagement includes offering a trainee role for someone recently graduated from university. Ideal candidates will have completed a quantity or building surveying degree, or a construction / engineering management qualification. Or potentially focused on related subjects such as commercial management, health & safety and project management.

For the successful candidate, there’s an exceptional opportunity to work within a respected local company providing a wide array of innovative specialist services.

A comprehensive training programme including further professional qualifications is included, along with competitive salary.

HLG also offers a bursary scheme for local students commencing or working towards a relevant degree. This includes an annual grant, opportunity for paid work placement and potential for gaining important industry experience.

A planned Jersey bursary scheme follows one already successfully launched in Guernsey.

Jersey-based students interested in finding out more about HLG’s graduate trainee role or student bursary scheme can contact

‘The opportunity to join HLG’s bursary scheme was one I jumped at,’ expands Jack Le Tissier, who recently completed his first year studying construction management at Reading University.

‘Through close family connections with Guernsey’s construction industry, I’d already been encouraged towards a career in the sector. Gaining the bursary support has helped financially, and crucially provided work experience with HLG and the opportunity to appreciate a wider range of property and construction-related services than I’d previously been exposed to.’

Jack has two more years of study to complete before finalising where to employ his learned knowledge and skills, but Guernsey is likely to benefit.

‘It will be useful to build some experience of construction work in other locations,’ he concludes, ‘but ultimately great to bring it back home and build a successful career in the island.’

HLG’s commitment is supporting Jack and other students wherever they choose to work, Jerry confirms, and in whichever industry area they choose to specialise in.

‘Of course, we hope they decide to work locally, where the building and construction industries present excellent prospects for long-term career development,’ he concludes. ‘And we’d like some to choose HLG, which offers excellent opportunities to focus on diverse, demanded and dynamic building and construction services.’

‘But, speculating to accumulate is what’s important – short-term investment in talent hopefully leads to all round long-term construction industry success.’

Jersey-based students interested in finding out more about HLG’s graduate trainee role or student bursary scheme can contact

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HLG Associates are pleased to announce the next stage of our growth journey.

From 1st August we will be implementing a new management structure to take our business into the next stage of its growth journey. Jerry Willis, will take over the helm of HLG Associates as Group Managing Director, replacing Simon Matthews, who will be stepping down from day-to-day responsibilities to pursue other opportunities. Simon will remain as the majority shareholder of the business.

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