Our next Staff Focus from Orkney Housing Association Ltd. (OHAL) is from Richard Flett, Development and Properties Manager.
After school, Richard went to Edinburgh University to study Civil and Structural Engineering, during summer holidays he undertook work experience with Orkney Islands Council (OIC). After his graduation he worked for the OIC in the Roads Department for a year before moving onto to work with a local Consulting Civil and Structural Engineer. After 11 years, he joined OHAL as Development Co-ordinator, before being promoted to Technical Services Manager in 2016.
Can you describe a typical day in your job?
There is no such thing as a typical day. I can go from trying to sort out drainage connections for a 20-house development to dealing with a tenant who has no hot water to sitting in a meeting discussing the merits of the planning system.
How did you end up in this role?
I left school to study Civil and Structural Engineering at Edinburgh University. While home during summer holidays I undertook work experience at Orkney Islands Council and was lucky enough to be involved in the construction of the new piers for the north isles Ro-Ro service in the early 90’s. Following graduation, I worked at the OIC in the Roads Department for a year before starting work with MT Austin a local Consulting Civil and Structural Engineer undertaking a variety of works from designing farm buildings to the steelwork for the new library. After 11 years there, I started at OHAL as Development Co-ordinator before being promoted to Technical Services Manager in 2006. I have been at OHAL now for over 17 years.
What is the best thing about your job?
The variety of work and helping to make a difference to people’s lives.
What is the worst thing about your job?
Dealing with needless bureaucracy.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
Technical knowledge and experience as well as a lot of patience!
What qualifications do you have?
Bachelor of Engineering Honours Degree
Would you recommend this job to young people, if so why?
I would definitely recommend this job if you enjoy a challenge and variety of different tasks in the construction industry.
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