Ardmore has been around since 1974, when it was founded by brothers, Patrick and Cormac Byrne. It began as a small general builder in Brixton, South London and since that time has grown into a substantial and well-respected main contractor primarily within and around London. It is, without doubt, a family business with family values.
Our people are incredibly proud of the wonderful family feel we have at Ardmore and the outstanding work we do as a team. At Ardmore we recognise the value of a diverse and inclusive workforce, and place great importance on the value of teamwork. We truly believe that diverse teams are more productive and perform better. We use ‘we’ and ‘us’ more often than ‘I’, we support each other, and always work together to find the most beneficial outcomes.
Everyone is treated as an individual and is known personally, by name right to the very top.
We may not be a huge corporate but we pride ourselves on our professionalism and like to do things right – including how we treat our people.
We specialise in large scale, high quality, complex construction schemes in London and have been involved in hundreds of major projects across the Capital including landmark buildings which have shaped the face of London. These include the NED at Poultry, the Corinthia Hotel, Ten Trinity Square, the multiphase regeneration of Heathside & Lethbridge, Greenwich Peninsula, Chelsea Waterfront, and Stratford Halo.
Our people are truly at the heart of everything we do. Our HR vision is to:-
Ensure we attract the best people, have a high‐performing, highly skilled, diverse workforce necessary for business success, and to develop the next generation of managers and leaders
Encouraging women to work in construction is one of our sector’s greatest challenges and we continue to work to address this through engagement in early school years, through trade apprenticeships, graduate/trainee programmes, and mid-career transfers.
We are committed to doing everything we can to create a level playing field, where all our people feel supported and able to develop a career and reach their full potential at Ardmore – regardless of their gender.
(dependent on service)
Maternity Leave – Ardmore offers generous maternity leave and pay arrangements over and above the statutory requirements.
Paternity Leave – Ardmore recognises the importance of the role that partners play during pregnancy and the early days – and provides two weeks paid leave for husbands and partners.
Adoption Leave – time off is given to make arrangements in the same way as for antenatal care. Post adoption leave and pay arrangements are in line with maternity/paternity arrangements.
Leave for infertility treatment – time off is granted for employees or partners of employees.
Parental Leave – allows time off to look after a child or make arrangements for a child’s welfare. Employees can also use it to spend more time with their children.
Shared Parental Leave – we offer flexibility to share leave and pay in the first year after birth.
Compassionate Leave – Ardmore allows time off to deal with a family crisis.
Carer’s Leave – employees are allowed time off to assist someone who is not a dependent.
Dependents’ Leave – employees are allowed time off to deal with an emergency concerning a dependent.
Emergency Leave – this allows time off to deal with unforeseen domestic emergencies.
Flexible Working – after six months’ service, any staff member is entitled to request flexible working arrangements – a change to working hours, part time working or job sharing, for example. Ardmore are happy to be able to say that most requests have been accepted.
Ardmore is an equality and diversity employer. The Company’s policy is to ensure that all job applicants, employees and other workers are treated equally. We have set up a Fairness Inclusion & Respect strategic group and are working hard to set an agenda which will move us towards our long term goal of 50%/50% male/female.
We recognise that our underlying success depends on recruiting and retaining the right people and encouraging them to reach their full potential.
To get the best candidates for our business, we consider and recruit applicants from all sectors of the community, and the diverse nature of our workforce is a direct reflection of this. In an attempt to address our current gender imbalance, we utilise gender-neutral language in recruitment, we remove names from CVs when sending to managers for review, and try to ensure that at least one female candidate is included in every shortlist.
We carry out succession planning at all levels and love to be able to give our female employees an opportunity to progress. Last year 40% of our promotions were to women and over 50% of our trainees were female. We even have some ladies doing apprenticeships within the trades.
One of our most recent initiatives has been to set up a Parents’ Network. The aim of this is to act as a communication platform for parents within the business, enabling them to voice their ideas and put forward recommendations on how the business can best support those with parental (and caring) responsibilities. The Parents’ Network has a real and valuable impact by engaging like-minded staff, and by listening and reacting to the issues which directly affect them in their place of work and the impact on their work and family life.
Its mission is to achieve a business in which everyone can meet their work and caring responsibilities, and to support our people in balancing the interdependent demands of work and family at different life stages and so enable everyone to realise their full potential.
We are partnered with Women Into Construction and last year Ardmore received a special commendation for the support given to Women Into Construction over the past 10 years.
Name: Aislinn McMahon
Role: Design Manager
Getting into the industry:
Having completed a BA (Hons) in Architecture, I now work for Ardmore Group as a Design Manager.
From a young age, I have always wanted to become an Architect. I have always had an interest in the processes behind things and why they work the way they do. Having worked in an architect’s office previously, I became more aware of the various job roles within the construction industry.
As a graduate, breaking into the industry can be quite difficult after leaving university, with limited experience and so after graduating, I decided to move to London for a year out. I applied for the Graduate Design Manager role with Ardmore Group and saw this as a brilliant opportunity to develop my career.
The two-year programme is designed to bring out the best in you whilst pushing you to reach your full potential. The programme not only gave me the practical experience, but technical learning and professional development so that I can now be part of some of the most exciting construction projects across the UK. Throughout the two years, I was mentored by some of the best & experienced leaders who worked closely with me to develop my skills, and assist me in working towards the relevant chartership. This year, I hope to complete the PDP route and become a chartered professional with CIOB.
Life as a Design Manager:
As a Design Manager, I not only have the responsibility of co-ordinating/managing the entire design to a set programme & budget, but advise the client on the most suitable solutions. I also play a part in ensuring the design process recognises current legislations & codes of practise.
Skills required to be a Design Manager:
Being a Design Manager can be challenging!
Not only do you need to have a strong grasp of the design process but you need to be mindful of the project scope and the deadlines you need to meet. I believe one of the most important skills required is good communication. A Design Manager needs to support, understand & advise the client, work closely with other teams and liaise with regulatory bodies such as Planning and Building Control. As Design Mangers lead project meetings & oversee external design teams, confidence is also key.
What I enjoy most about my role Ardmore:
Having worked for Ardmore for nearly five years now, I have had experience working on hotel, commercial and residential projects. I have had the privilege of working on two very recognisable buildings, The Canaletto & 10 Trinity Square
What I enjoy most about my job is that no one day is ever the same. I am currently working on the Ram Quarter site looking after the listed buildings. I have been faced with many unexpected obstacles throughout the build as due to the heritage nature of the building, no standard method of construction can be employed. Any repair work, upgrades, materials or new construction methods must be approved in writing by Heritage England prior to the works commencing on site, which involves a huge amount of planning in advance.
Being a woman in a predominately male oriented industry was something I was initially concerned with. As soon as you can demonstrate that you know what you are talking about, you will definitely gain respect. The best advice I could offer to any women out there considering a career in construction is to listen to people, take advice on board, be informed and make decisions confidently!
Name: Joanne Braybrook
Role: Quantity Surveyor
Tell us about your time at Ardmore (Trainee > Quantity Surveyor)?
Before joining Ardmore, I was a retail store manager for a reputable fashion brand. The retail sector offered very little graduate opportunities, and where I was eager to progress and better myself within my career, I needed a new challenge. Under the Ardmore graduate program, I have been able to fulfil these goals. I am now a qualified Quantity Surveyor, assisting the Senior Quantity Surveyor to meet the commercial needs of the site.
What is your involvement on your current project?
As long as you are willing to take on new responsibilities and show you are eager to learn and progress, there is no limit to what you can do on site. At present, we are currently focused on procurement, managing the subcontracts, and processing valuations and payments.
What skills do you need to be good at your job?
Personally, I feel you need to have a keen eye for detail, with the ability to identify anomalies within and between documents. You need to have good people skills, and you need to be able to speak comfortably with a wide range of people, on a variety of topics, from discussing contracts through to disputes. You also need to be prepared and willing to spend time on site.
Do not assume this is an office job, it is not!
What piece of advice would you give to someone applying for a Graduate or Trainee role at Ardmore?
Show willingness, be open-minded and discard any stereotypes you may have of the construction sector.
What’s your proudest achievement to date at Ardmore?
Looking back over the past 3 years and realising how much I have achieved.
Magdalena Torba – HR Manager
Magdalena has worked at Ardmore for over 13 years and worked her way up to HR Manager before going on maternity leave in 2017. She says“When I went on maternity to have my first child in January 2017, I threw myself into motherhood and thoroughly enjoyed the first few months of being able to focus totally on my daughter. As the months of my maternity leave progressed, I began to feel very apprehensive about returning to work, as my role had been very demanding and carried a lot of responsibility. In due course, I met up with my manager (one of the Byrne family) and we discussed the situation in depth. As a new father himself he totally understood my dilemma and we sought to find a mutually satisfactory arrangement.”
She goes on to say “After nine months’ on maternity leave I returned to work on reduced hours and with less responsibility. This has worked out even better than I could have imagined and I am now able to balance a meaningful, fulfilling role with the demands of having a young family. I am very grateful to Ardmore for this opportunity and I am now working on a number of projects to help others in the same way.”
Tayna Farrell – Project Director
Tayna joined Ardmore in 2011 as a Graduate Project Manager and was promoted to Project Director in 2018. Tayna says “I was about 9 or 10 when I decided I wanted a career in construction as I didn’t want to do anything traditionally female like nursing. I initially embarked on an BTEC in construction course, where the lecturers told me that to be a manager on site is hard enough for men, let alone women! I then went onto do an MSc in Construction & Project Management.”
She has not looked back and contributes her success to hard work and the opportunities she has been given by Ardmore.
She goes onto say “Clearly in the 7 years with Ardmore I have had the opportunity to develop my career and I’d like to continue to do so in the future. I enjoy the day to day challenges, the various projects and schemes that I’ve worked on and those that I have the potential of working on in the future.”
Tayna has worked on several high-profile projects and is now the project lead for Ardmore’s £49m Camley Street project at Kings Cross. She says she loves the team spirit at Ardmore and the new challenges she faces every day. Working in such a male orientated environment can be challenging but Ardmore treats everyone equally – it’s how good you are at your job that counts!