Working in the scaffolding industry wasn’t so much a career choice as destiny for Millcroft’s yard manager, Mick Williamson.
“My dad spent his whole working life in scaffolding,” explains Mick, “so my start in the industry began long before I left school. From the age of around ten, he was bringing me into work with him at the weekend and teaching me about the equipment and how to run the yard, so when I left school, getting a full-time job at a scaffolding company was a natural choice.”
Like Mick, Mick’s dad was also a yard manager, and the pair are not the only two in the family to have spent their working lives in scaffolding. Mick’s uncle, his three brothers and his son have all chosen scaffolding as their careers.
“It’s quite fitting that I work for a family business like Millcroft that has such a strong family ethos,” Mick comments, “because that’s exactly how scaffolding has always been for me. My dad helped me to get my first job and I encouraged my son to come and work with me here at Millcroft. I’ve been here six years now, and have never looked back. My son has become known as Junior, because we both have the same name!”
Mick began his career at Palmer Scaffolding and after a short time working in the yard, where his dad was manager, on his dad’s advice he qualified for an HGV license and worked as a driver for five years.
“It’s really useful for me that I have worked both as a yardsman and a driver,’ says Mick, because it means I understand the pressures and challenges of those roles and how they fit with my responsibilities as yard manager.”
When Mick’s dad left Palmers, Mick stepped into his shoes and managed the yard there for the company for 29 years.
“A former colleague asked me to come over to see if I’d be interested in working at Millcroft,” Mick explains, “and I knew right away that it would be the right environment for me. It’s a very family-oriented business where people are rewarded for doing a good job and there’s a strong focus on doing things the right way. That really matters to me because I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing the yard run like clockwork and watching a fully loaded wagon leave for site with all the kit safely stacked and smartly liveried.”
Mick’s role as yard manager at Millcroft is very varied and is pivotal to the operational efficiency of the whole team.
“I’m responsible for making sure that the right kit is available on site at the right time,” Mick explains, “which means ensuring we have the right availability of equipment. I also have to make sure that everything returning to the yard is sorted and well-maintained ready to be re-deployed as soon as it is needed.”
Mick is also responsible for ensuring the vehicles are properly loaded and that equipment being sent out to site is transported with as few vehicle movements as possible.
“I love seeing a vehicle leave Millcroft HQ looking neat and tidy with rows of tube painted in Millcroft colours,” he says. “I’m responsible for the team who sort and paint our kit, and for responding to equipment requests from site.
“My job is physically demanding but it keeps me on my toes mentally too, not least because there are so many nicknames for pieces of kit amongst the team and I have to make sure they get the right equipment, whatever they call it.”
After over 35 years in the scaffolding industry, Mick still loves his job and enjoys the team environment at Millcroft.
“They really look after us here,” he adds, “and the whole team is like an extension of the family. I love having a job where I get to spend lots of time outdoors and can go home at the end of the day feeling tired and knowing I’m running a tight ship.”
So is there anything about the job that Mick doesn’t like? “The rain never gets any less wet, no matter how long you’ve been in the job!” he smiles.