Open and close mobile menu


Insights What's it like being a project manager inside Faithful+Gould, Northern Ireland?

In 2020, Jason Wylie joined Faithful+Gould, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group, as a project manager. He arrived with invaluable experience in major civil engineering schemes across marine, infrastructure, and commercial management. We could see Jason was talented and that he wanted to build a career out of being the best he could be. So, we immediately seconded him to Translink's Structures Department (Northern Ireland Railways). Surrounded by colleagues who just wanted him to succeed, he quickly delivered outstanding work. And, just 10 months later, we promoted him to senior project manager.

Photo of Jason smiling towards the camera

Jason, why did you join Faithful+Gould?

I was impressed by the limitless opportunities at the organization. Faithful+Gould isn't a place where you wait on someone above you to retire or move on before you can take the next step in your career. Our career progression framework sets out what you require to advance to the next stage of your career and provides you with clear development aims.

What keeps you with us?

Our people and culture. Faithful+Gould celebrates individual employee and team achievements. This, combined with regular socials, team-building exercises and mindfulness days, has allowed us to spend quality time together as teams and develop genuine friendships.

I love the support I've received in advancing my career. Since joining, I've received the highest standard of technical training, mentorship, and bespoke training programmes, such as the Management Development Programme (MDP). The programme has been brilliant in helping me achieve the soft skills I've needed to move into management while providing the opportunity to meet and discuss ideas with peers across the UK.

What does a senior project manager like you do?

As one of the organization's more experienced project managers, senior project managers handle larger, more complex projects, usually having many on the go at any one time. We also supervise project management teams, ensuring they do everything on time and to the right standards. I also work with senior management on other tasks, contributing to Faithful+Gould's future, like increasing the bottom line and productivity.

What does your work on the Translink programme involve?

It's called the Structures Maintenance Contract (SMC), and our remit is to carry out the examination, repair and maintenance of over 2000 structural assets across 200km of Rail Network. These assets include bridges, culverts, retaining walls, sea defences, tunnels, earthworks and much more.. My role involves overseeing a large number of projects simultaneously including numerous emergency repairs that are fundamental for the safe passage of trains.

Although we're delivering on 'things', what we're really delivering is change. As part of the benefits management, we've made the network more efficient for commuters—removing certain speed restrictions, improving structure ratings and reducing monitoring.

What have been the biggest challenges of this programme?

Keeping the programme moving smoothly in a beautiful but rugged part of the world. Maintenance teams regularly notify us of embankment slips, damaged sea defences and rock falls needing emergency work to prevent risks to passing trains. For us, that means programmed works often require rescheduling. We've implemented Risk Management Meetings to help us make judgements on the risk and priority of each project, this has been critical to managing the workstream when dealing with unforeseen events.

Working on a busy railway corridor is also tricky. We often only have four hours a night where we can have the track to ourselves, including getting to access points. And because we have multiple work programmes scheduled at any one time, we've needed to meticulously organized when booking possessions to ensure works don't clash.

What excites you about the construction industry?

The journey towards a Net Zero future is something that we can't achieve without the construction industry buying into it wholeheartedly. Faithful+Gould and our clients are at the forefront of this journey with our experience in Passivhaus schemes, retrofit projects and Decarbonomics.

I'm also excited that the importance of Social Value in construction is becoming more and more recognized. The industry will no longer just be delivering a building or piece of infrastructure but also a range of long-term benefits to improve the quality of life in that area.

Find out more about our talented team in Northern Ireland and browse our latest job vacancies.