"There's a great emphasis on energy efficiency..."
Kieran Lacey works as a computer-aided design (CAD) ductwork draughtsman at Hotchkiss, having completed a four-year apprenticeship. He tells us why he’s glad he followed the advice he was given at his job interview…
Q. What made you decide on a career in building services engineering?
A I applied to Hotchkiss because I’d seen a surveying vacancy. But the directors who interviewed me felt that a CAD draughtsman role would be more appropriate. I did my own research and they were right: it looked really interesting! I accepted the offer and started my apprenticeship almost immediately.
Q Has the apprenticeship been a good experience for you?
A Definitely! I’ve spent time in a whole range of different departments at Hotchkiss and got real experience out on-site from very early on. I initially spent one day a week at Croydon College completing a BTEC in Building Services Engineering and then went on to complete a two-year HNC for which I was thrilled to get a merit. My ultimate aim is to become a multi-services co-ordination draughtsman.
Q What’s been your most interesting or challenging project?
A For the whole of my apprenticeship I worked on Terminal 5 at Heathrow and I’m currently working on the Arora Hotel. It’s been a fascinating project, as Hotchkiss has been responsible for drawing all the ductwork and co-ordinating with other services. I’ve learned lots!
Q Is there one thing that particularly excites you about your job?
A It’s got to be the constant innovation. There’s great emphasis on energy efficiency and it’s fascinating to learn how design procedures can ensure that it’s built into every project from the outset. I’m working alongside people with years of experience in the industry but building services engineering is definitely an area where it doesn’t matter how old you are. My opinion is respected because my colleagues know I’m always keen to learn.
Q And finally – what does a good day at work mean to you?
A It’s true: I really do learn something new every day! One of the great things about the sector is that no project is ever the same as the last – so a good day is one where I rise to a new challenge and enjoy doing a really good job.