Lucia, Business Systems and Audit Manager, Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture (7 year break)
In my native Spain, I spent six years working in the construction industry, firstly as a surveyor on site. I am a qualified engineer, did a Masters in Business Management Systems and also previously worked on a high-speed railway project in northern Spain. After having had a significant career gap, the fact that the SCS JV had a Returners Programme was the deciding factor for me in choosing to work with them.
Once I had made the decision that my young daughter was of an age where I could get back to work, I turned my hunt for employment into my daily job. When I started the process, I was really focused. I did have a few interviews before this one with SCS came along and one of them offered me a position. However, I really liked this project and the Return to Work programme was a clincher for me, because when you spend a significant time away from the corporate environment, confidence is a key factor. You tend to think that you won’t be good enough and negative thoughts creep in. However, my line manager has been absolutely key to my professional development and so supportive. I cannot say how lucky I am. My team is ‘magnifique’ – they are always willing to help and sharing knowledge which played an important part building up my confidence, and I am now a different person in terms of confidence from when I started to now.
My role now involves developing, implementing and maintaining the SCS JV’s quality management and business systems which are certified against ISO9001 (Quality) accreditations. While I utilised all of the support made available to me, the first national lockdown last March prompted by the arrival of Covid-19 in the UK, initially made things harder. Fortunately, there was huge support from the team and the project, who made everyone realise that we were not alone. Starting together with five other returners, befriending and bonding with them was also immensely helpful.
I would say to those coming in on the next SCS Return to Work scheme*: ‘Never give up, you can do it and you will be surrounded by people willing to help’.