We are extremely proud of the people who work at LCA Group and over the year we will be featuring some of our talented engineers who work tirelessly to ensure projects are delivered to the highest standard.
First up in our new series is Lee Derbyshire.
Following the completion of his GCSE’s in 2003, Lee didn’t waste any time getting on the employment ladder and successfully completed the onboarding process and aptitude tests to start an Electrical Apprenticeship with LCA Group a mere two weeks after finishing school. Upon completion of his apprenticeship, and after impressing his managers with his excellent work ethic - he was offered a full time Electrician’s position; one year later he was promoted to a Junior Engineer. This development allowed Lee to understand the different aspects of the business including management, quality, health & safety and commercial awareness. Fast forward 12 years and Lee has moved into a higher management role as Director of Engineering.
We scheduled a virtual coffee with Lee to ask him a few questions about his career to date:
Lee, can you give us a summary of what your job involves?
A large proportion of my job involves people management, I currently have a team of 15 with varied experience in engineering. Three people on my team are graduates/trainees who require structured mentoring and training. Our company initiative is on “Technology & Talent” so we ensure all our teams have the opportunities to progress in the business with training and role development.
Another key aspect to my role is managing the bid process for potential new projects. This is a critical activity for the business as it feeds the future work opportunities. I am involved in the day-to-day management of ongoing projects, ensuring we stay technically compliant throughout and looking at ways we can work more efficiently, or streamlining processes.
What qualifications have you gained whilst working at LCA Group?
I have been very fortunate that LCA Group have put me through a variety of further education and training since I joined. This has included a National Certificate, Higher National Certificate and an Honours Degree from John Moore University in Industrial Electronics and Control.
Studying for these qualifications has given me the knowledge and skills to progress my career and gain increased recognition within the industry.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
There are lots of aspects of my job I find fulfilling, the most obvious being to see a project through its full life cycle from concept to final handover to the client. Its really nice to know that a project you have worked on has helped another business improve their operations.
After joining as a young apprentice, I personally really enjoy the development of junior staff. From the training and mentoring, to eventually watching them complete their own achievements within the business - it's really fulfilling to know you have helped shape their careers and develop their engineering skills.
With regards to the engineering element of the job, its really exciting to work in an industry where technology is constantly evolving, it means we are able to provide clients with the best possible engineering solutions. This itself is what enticed me into the industry in the first place, and something I still really enjoy today.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of a career in engineering?
Firstly, I would say it’s really important that you like maths! Engineering involves a lot of problem solving and finding solutions to complex challenges – so if you like this type of challenge then it could well be a career path for you.
Either going in as an apprentice or a graduate, gaining some industry experience is beneficial – and helps you put the theory into practice. I also think it’s important to mention to those looking at the engineering career path, that you don’t always need a degree to get on the ladder. Providing you show determination to work hard you will always have the chance to develop your knowledge and skills whilst progressing in your career.