David Kehoe (Technical Support and Training Representative)
Passionate about the plastering industry, Technical Support and Training Representative, David Kehoe, uses his position to encourage and inspire young talent to thrive in the industry.
We caught up with David to find out how he is working to help the next generation of tradespeople.
Tell us about your role
My job is very diverse. I support the business by assisting with new product development and I am a trainer at our East Leake Technical Academy. Predominantly, I am involved in various initiatives and events for young professionals where we, as a company, are striving to help the construction industry develop the skilled tradespeople of the future.
How do you support young professionals?
We have set up an initiative called the Thistle Partnership, which I oversee. We work with Plastering departments in around 75 colleges throughout the whole of the UK, supporting more than 3,000 students on an annual basis. We train the apprentices and allow them to use our products, which enables them to create high quality work using real-world materials.
In addition, I am the current UK WorldSkills Expert in Plastering and Drylining. WorldSkills is the international culmination of SkillBuild, the biggest and longest running construction skills competition. Each year, the competition runs regional qualifiers, with a national final held at the NEC in Birmingham. The five highest scorers then follow a two-year training programme to compete for the chance to represent the UK at WorldSkills. These events are great as it gives colleges the opportunity to showcase their brightest talents. I was a judge in the Plastering and Drywall Systems category at a recent regional qualifier, held at York College in June 2018.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I come from a plastering background having attended plastering college, so I am very passionate about the industry. It is great for me to be able to share my experiences and show the students the many different opportunities and fantastic careers that the industry can offer. Our main aim is to help young professionals to build their confidence and lay a solid foundation for their future career progression, and it is brilliant to be so heavily involved in this.