Just a Minute with Lee Marley

Construction entrepreneur Lee Marley is the next participant in our Just a Minute feature.

Just a Minute with Lee Marley

Lee Marley

Name: Lee Marley

Position: Construction Entrepreneur & Founder of Lee Marley Brickwork Limited http://www.leemarley.com

How did you get started in the industry? My grandfather was a bricklayer and I always knew this was a trade I wanted to follow. I completed a bricklaying apprenticeship at North Devon College.

Biggest professional achievement: In 2016 I formed a partnership with Brooklands College in Surrey and now run an Apprentice Programme at the College; 30 young people have been through this scheme so far. In 2018 one of our apprentices was awarded Apprentice of the Year at the Construction News Specialist Awards and this was a very proud moment for me.

Best advice you received: Don’t give up, if you want it to get better it will do.

What do you like most about your job? The variety, every day is different. Our customer base is also very important to me and I really value those relationships.

And the least? Losing a contract, I hate not winning a job, it’s a horrible feeling when you feel you’ve failed.

What are the biggest challenges your firm has faced because of the COVID-19 pandemic? The first 4-5 weeks were really hard work and the relentlessly changing business landscape has been a challenge. At a very early stage we set up daily management meetings with all our senior staff, from those discussions we invested a lot of time and effort into putting in measures to cope, but frequently by the time we put these in place an external factor would change, such as government advice or a client or supplier halting work, and then we would have to review and re-plan all over again. The scaremongering and opinion sharing, particularly on social media, has been frustrating as it had a massive impact on construction as a whole.

What measures have you brought in to address these challenges? We have firmly stuck to the government guidelines which has given us the confidence that we are keeping our teams safe. This has been under constant review and we’ve allowed for more supervision per head to keep things under control.

Will they stay in place after this is all over? We’ve been really encouraged by what we’ve seen and are finding that people at work have re-jigged how they’ve managed things and are actually wanting to do more, so much so that this could be the new norm.

Which newsletters/ bulletins do you receive? Construction News and Construction Enquirer are among them.

How would you change Scottish Construction Now? Promote it to nationwide contacts, making it more accessible for those outside of Scotland to hear about the good work that goes on.

Do you read a daily newspaper? No.

Which social media sites do you use and which do you find the most useful? I read LinkedIn to keep up to date with what individuals and small businesses are posting and to find out about new projects.

Hobbies and interests: Walking and interior design.

Favourite holiday destination: Barbados

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