National Apprenticeship Week: Richard Blake, Commercial Director

National Apprenticeship Week is a time to celebrate the power and potential that apprenticeships hold for shaping the future of individuals and businesses alike. One such testament to the potency of apprenticeships is our very own Commercial Director, Richard Blake.

The Beginning of Richard Blake’s Career Journey

In 1989, Richard embarked on a transformative journey into the realm of surveying. His journey began at the Hackney Technical College, where he enrolled in an apprenticeship programme that served as the first step on his path to becoming a successful professional in the construction industry. His studies started with a BTEC National Certificate, an intensive course designed to provide the essential skills and knowledge required to thrive in a variety of technical professions.

Following this, he progressed onto a BTEC Higher National Certificate, further deepening his understanding of surveying principles and practices. He then topped off his educational journey with a CIOB Certificate in Surveying, a prestigious qualification recognised across the construction sector.

Joining the Jerram Falkus Family

Fuelled by his general interest in building and financial management, Richard sought a stable company with promising prospects. This led him to Jerram Falkus, where he secured a work placement to be completed alongside his studies. It was here that Richard got his first real taste of the construction industry, experiencing firsthand the intricate balance between theoretical knowledge and practical application.

Over the years, Richard’s commitment to continual learning, paired with the experience gained on-the-job at Jerram Falkus, allowed him to climb the corporate ladder. From his initial position as a Trainee Surveyor, Richard progressed to the role of Surveyor, then to Commercial Manager, and finally to the role of Commercial Director.

A Day in the Life of a Commercial Director

The role of Commercial Director is one laden with varied responsibilities and unique challenges. Each day brings something new – from managing commercial risks to overseeing financial matters of the company’s construction projects. Amidst the daily demands, Richard remains committed to the bigger picture, always aiming to ensure the successful delivery and profitability of each project. For him, the ultimate satisfaction lies in seeing projects come to fruition, knowing that every brick laid and every deal closed contributes to the success of Jerram Falkus.

A role of such magnitude requires certain essential skills and attributes. These include leadership, accuracy, numeracy, diligence, patience, a thorough understanding of the construction industry, and a keen eye for detail. Richard embodies all these qualities, enabling him to steer the commercial aspects of our operations with aplomb.

Richard Blake’s Advocacy for Apprenticeships

Looking back at his career journey, Richard is a staunch advocate for apprenticeships. He believes in their power to equip individuals with practical, hands-on experience while they study their trade. According to him, the experiential learning offered by apprenticeships is invaluable, as it allows individuals to understand their trade more deeply.

For those considering an apprenticeship, Richard offers sound advice: “Always ask questions and follow guidance well. Do this, and you’ll do just fine!” These words of wisdom reflect his belief that curiosity and adherence to expert advice are crucial elements for success.

Nurturing Talent at Jerram Falkus

Richard’s journey from an apprentice to Commercial Director is an inspiration to us all at Jerram Falkus. As a family-run construction company that has been serving London and the South East for over 138 years, we are deeply committed to nurturing talent and fostering professional growth. We believe in the transformative power of apprenticeships and are proud to support them as a pathway to success in the construction industry. Get in touch with us to learn about our projects.