It has been an eventful journey, from bricklayer to Building Control Officer for Chris Hardisty, and yet he shows no signs of stopping. After a few years of completing the bricklaying course at University College Isle of Man (UCM), he returned to the College to study the Construction & the Built Environment (Level 3) then he progressed to the Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction & the Built Environment. Dedicated and driven, Chris is determined to achieve his ambition and is now considering a degree in Building Control Surveying, once he has completed his HNC.
Keeping it local
After gaining a qualification at UCM to become a bricklayer, Chris worked in the trade for four years and really enjoyed it. However, he felt that he needed to do more to provide financial security for his young family. “It was Christmas in 2015; I had a son on the way and after long days in particularly harsh Manx weather I decided to take the advice given to me by my peers to explore other options within the construction industry,” he shared.
He decided to return to UCM, as it was the ideal education provider for him, “The great thing about UCM is that it is local, so there was no need to leave the island or be away from my family.”
Very challenging, but positive experience
Chris found the Construction courses really valuable; he learned a lot about the industry including health & safety and legal requirements, he also gained practical skills, such as how to use AutoCAD, which led him to a role as a junior architectural technician. He shared that it was a positive, yet very challenging experience as it required him to apply different skill sets, “I also missed working outdoors and seeing projects through from concept and design all the way to completion.”
Chris admitted that this was one of the hardest periods of his life, having to juggle between learning a new job, studying and looking after a young family, but he happily acknowledged that it was well worth all the effort.
New directions and opportunities
Having worked in various roles within the construction industry, Chris reflected that there is so much on offer in this vast industry.
“There are many great opportunities available and one should take time to consider the options in order to make the most of what is out there. I was already qualified and had an established career, but after taking a step back I realised that there are so many other directions and opportunities for me in this industry.”
Last year, Chris took on a new role as an Assistant Building Control Office for the Isle of Man Government. His day-to-day responsibilities include checking plans, answering general enquiries and carrying out site inspections.
After this year, Chris intends to take a break from education to spend with his family. However, as he is determined to pursue a degree in Building Control Surveying, it won’t be long before he continues his learning journey.