We are all very proud here at Dowds Group of our plumbing apprentice, Abigail Reilly, who has headed off to Birmingham this week to compete in the WorldSkills UK LIVE finals. In order to gain a place in the national finals, entries started off at over 3000 competitors which was whittled down to 500 for the national finals in total which runs across 70 different skill categories.
Abigail will be taking on the UK’s top young learners, competing for gold in the plumbing category. Finalists have to complete a set task in their respective skill area within a limited time in front of the 70,000 plus visitors attending the event.
Everyone at Dowds wishes Abigail all the best of luck and support in this prestigious competition, we have no doubt she will do fantastic! 😊👩🔧🍀 #WSUKLIVE
Check out Abigail’s interview below with BBC Newsline on the preparation she has undertook for the competition and also her experience on being the only female whilst currently working on our South Lakes Leisure Centre project:
We are seeking a Junior Electrical Contract Managerto join our team who will be based on our Ulster University, Belfast contract.
The basis of this role will involve ensuring management and administration of the works are completed to the programme deadline and to a high standard ensuring a satisfied client and an acceptable profit margin for the company.
Reporting to the Electrical Contract Manager, the successful candidate will have the following duties:
Health & Safety – inductions of personnel onto site, carry out daily briefs, toolbox talks, monitoring & assist writing RAMS, monitoring H&S plan
Procurement – monitoring stock of materials, assist site supervisor timely procurement of materials, overseeing deliveries and appropriate hire goods
Subcontractors – liaising with subcontractors, coordination of works, trouble-shooting
Programme – monitoring the progress of the programme & reporting on progress to main contractor / client
Quality – check sheets, inspection of quality of installation on site – ensuring they meet company standards
Meetings – attend/provide input for progress meeting
Testing – carrying out and/or signing off tests, overseeing other testing on site
Commissioning – overseeing commissioning by specialists, ensuring there are no delays,
O&M – production information for the manual & timely mark-up of ‘as installed drawings’, preparation of the building logbook & operations guide
Communication with the Contract Manager is essential – supervision of the site and update reporting directly to the CM
Building & maintaining good relationships with the project team from client/end user through to maintenance team
The ideal candidate will have:
Minimum of 3-5 years’ experience within electrical building services
Ability to produce work of a consistently high quality to tight deadlines.
Excellent Communication / Negotiation Skills
A Proactive Approach and a good eye for detail.
Ability to take and follow instructions.
Dowds Group are committed to investing in talent and developing opportunities for our staff. As equal opportunities employers, we welcome applicants from all communities.
We are seeking to recruit a qualified Ventilation Contracts Manager to join our busy Integrated Services Division. The opening will be based primarily in Northern Ireland but willingness to travel throughout the rest of the UK & Ireland will be essential. Candidates will be required to efficiently manage ventilation and duct work contracts to a very high standard, and must ensure all management, H&S and administration of contracts are completed to the programme deadlines.
The Role – Main Duties
Estimating/ Estimating Assistance – the ability to read and fully understand specifications and drawings (to DW144, TR19, HTM requirements & Dowds Group standards) to enable the extraction of all relevant information for quotation build up.
Health & Safety – Production of Contract Risk Assessments and Method Statements, inductions of site personnel, daily briefs, toolbox talks, continual monitoring of contract H&S plans.
Procurement – ensure timely procurement and delivery of materials, monitoring stock of materials, overseeing deliveries and appropriate hire goods.
Subcontractors – develop supplier base, liaising with sub-contractors, negotiating of rates.
Programme – close monitoring of site progress against programme & reporting on same to main contractor / client / Line manager / Director as required.
Quality – check sheets, regular inspection on quality of installation on site – ensuring company & industry standards are maintained.
Meetings – attend/provide input for progress / technical meetings as required
Commissioning/Testing/ Certification – carrying out/organising and/or signing off all required tests & certification, overseeing testing on site to ensure full compliance.
Co-Ordination – Ensuring that all services are fully considered through meetings, drawings, onsite measurement all to ensure first time production and installation of duct work.
O&M – early production of all relevant information for the operations manual including as installed drawings & all required maintenance information.
Communication – with Line Manager / Director is essential throughout the projects as to highlight potential issues early.
Building & maintaining good relationships with the project team from client/end user through to maintenance team
Conflict / Issue resolution
Management of all Site Personnel
Sharing lessons learned, flagging of recurring issues
Liaising with the design team & answering queries
The Role – General
Ongoing mentoring and supervision of your site team to encourage commercial and technical development.
Challenge conventional methods of practise in the interest of the Company, encouraging your team to be innovative.
Regularly assess the performance of your team, highlighting and dealing with any issues including under performance or additional training requirements.
Any other duties as deemed by the Line Manager / Director to be within the scope of your skills
Minimum 3 years working within a similar environment.
We are seeking an experienced Payroll & Accounts Administrator to join our team. This full-time post will be based in our Head Office in Ballymoney. The post would be suitable for someone at Assistant Management level and successful candidate will be responsible for meeting deadlines and working efficiently alongside the accounts team.
What will I be doing day to day?
You will be working within a tight-knit Finance team, assisting in the delivery of Payroll, the Accounts Receivable and Payable functions and contributing to month and year end processes in line with business, corporate and legal requirements and deadlines;
To comply with our standards of service and interact with all clients and employees in a professional and friendly manner
Assisting in payroll processing and reconciling labour time sheets
Processing of account payables
Ensuring accurate follow up of all invoice queries
Data processing and inputting data
Collate data and create reports of services
Dealing with supplier account queries
Processing a high volume of invoices through Sage
Reconciliation of supplier statements
Other accounts & office admin tasks as and when needed
Perform any assigned duties required for completion of month-end and year-end closing of the books
5 years minimum experience in accounts/administration (Essential)
Previous experience in Sage & Sage Payroll (Essential)
Computer literate with good knowledge in Microsoft Excel & Word (Essential)
Good knowledge of general accounting procedures in a business setting
Ability to produce work of a consistently high quality
Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with the internal management of the company from Graduate to Director Level.
Ability to work fast paced and unassisted.
Attention to detail and ability to prioritise workload
Today we celebrate World Mental Health Day! This is an opportunity for us all to raise awareness of mental ill-health and advocate against the stigma that continues to surround this issue.
This stigma can inhibit people from seeking the help they need and subsequently delay their treatment. Poor mental health can isolate people and prevent them from carrying out their day-to-day activities,maintaining relationships with friends and family as well as possibly hampering their ability to hold down a job. By addressing how we think and act about mental health, we can seek to support people to avoid reaching a crisis situation.
Here at Dowds Group, our people are at the centre of everything we do and so we strive to make our employees’mental well being as important a focus as their physical health. With a third of our lives spent at work, we want to ensure that our staff are taking important small steps to aid their mental well being.
“World Mental Health Day celebrates awareness for the global community in an empathetic way,with a unifying voice, helping those feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and to create lastingchange.” – World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH)
Our “40 for Forty” Legacy event this year was to trek up and down Slieve Donard in Newcastle, Co. Down, the highest peak (850m) in Northern Ireland, in partnership with AWARE NI. This trek was being held in celebration of World Mental Health Day. There were 78 participants in total, 21 being Dowds Group employees along with their family and friends.
6:00am was an early start on Saturday morning for everyone to make their way to Newcastle. After registration and our safety briefing on arrival,we all set off up the mountain with the weather on our side. We trekked upwards through old woodland of Scots Pine, Oak and Birch alongside the Glen River until we reached the gate and stile. We continued to trek for another 2kms heading towards the saddle between Donard and Commedagh. When we reached the Mourne wall the mist descended and before long the wind and rain. This was the toughest part, “just another 10 minutes, just another 10 minutes” we kept being told. Finally, we reached the top and although we didn’t get a picturesque view, the huge sense of achievement was very evident amongst all those there. A brisk stop at the top for a photo and we made our way back down to the saddle where we had a quick bite to eat before heading for the bottom. The weather became wetter which made the terrain more difficult underfoot, but the bottom of the mountain grew closer and closer as the minutes ticked on. We were greeted at the bottom by the AWARE NI team who presented us with medals and pointed us in the direction of the soup and sandwiches.
This was a day enjoyed by all at Dowds Group who took part and to top it all off we have raised over a fantastic £3000 for AWARE NI. We want to thank everyone who has donated so far and as we are still receiving donations,it isn’t too late to donate.
A short note to finish – in the UK, the average person says they are fine 14 times a day in response to a question, Feelings Inside Not Expressed. So, by asking the person twice, we can express our genuine concern in hearing what they have to say and allow them the opportunity to say how they are really feeling. You don’t have to bean expert in mental health to listen to someone, we don’t have to feel afraid because we don’t have all the answers, we simply need to listen, provide support and be a friend.
Dowds Group are continuing to invest in their people with a long tradition of supporting apprenticeships. Our 2019 intake of 9 apprentices has tallied our overall current apprentice numbers to 41, 6 of which are based in the UK and 35 based in Northern Ireland.
We believe apprentices are the lifeblood of the industry who bring innovation and diversity into our already well-established team. We were overwhelmed with the number of applicants that we had this year for our apprenticeship scheme, with an astounding 90 applicants in total!
The quality of our apprenticeship programme is widely recognised and in recent years a number of our apprentices have been singled out in regional and national competitions. We ensure that our apprentices are placed on projects suited as close to where they live as possible, thus ensuring they are gaining full experience on site and not spending valuable hours travelling.
Working alongside our experienced staff, the apprentices will have hands-on training, learning the different systems and installations in the site environment as well as learning the theory behind it all in college.
Our apprentices have been given a great opportunity and we welcome them into Dowds with open arms. Our electrical apprentices are; Colum Butler, Ryan Butler, Tom Davis, Joshua Brennen, Eunan Mulholland and Eoin Matassa. Our Plumbing apprentices are; Nathan Tumelty, Mason Cole and Pierce McAuley
Dowds Group are delighted to announce we have been acknowledged by InvestNI and offered an Employment Grant of £442,000 to support the creation of 68 new jobs by 2021 within the construction sector in Northern Ireland.
As a company, over the next three years our objectives are to increase turnover by 25% and drive up sales outside Northern Ireland. In the current economic climate this £4.5 million investment is not without its risks but with Invest NI’s financial support we feel we are well positioned to pro-actively target larger scale contracts and take advantage of market opportunities in Great Britain and Ireland.
Recruitment for the 68 jobs has already commenced, and will include a number of management, operations, engineering and apprentice posts. This investment will further strengthen our company’s design and engineering capability, and enable us to target higher value ‘design and build’ contracts, particularly in the Great Britain and ROI markets.
We welcomed Alastair Hamilton, CEO of Invest NI, to our Head Office in Ballymoney on Tuesday 25th June to discuss our innovative plans to bring growth to the company and the local economy and are grateful for the support Invest NI are providing with this milestone. To read more about our meeting with Alastair Hamilton of Invest NI click here.
On Monday 24th June, Dowds Group were thrilled to attend the sod cutting ceremony for the new Lisburn Primary and Community Care Centre in which we will be carrying out the M&E works.
This new £40M centre will be located at the site of the city’s Lagan Valley Hospital and is anticipated will open in Autumn 2021. At almost 13,000sqm the new facility will bring together eight GP practices and enable the Trust to provide an integrated model for both primary and secondary care on the Lagan Valley site – a one stop location for the health and social care needs of the local population.
The new hub will improve early intervention, bring services closer to the patients’ home and help to reduce hospital admissions. The attention to detail in design of the building will meet modern accessibility standards to ensure patient privacy and dignity, and will provide a high standard of clinical accommodation for generations to come.
The involvement of Dowds Group in the Lisburn scheme confirms their position in leading the field for the delivery of Mechanical and Electrical services in healthcare projects in Northern Ireland.
Here at Dowds Group, our employees are at the core of everything we do and so we make it our main concern to care and look after their physical and mental well-being. Awareness of Mental Health has definitely elevated over the past few years, however it is still very much something that we need to keep at the forefront of our lives, not only for ourselves but for those around us.
With significant company expansion, especially over the last 3-4 years and with an ever increasing awareness within the construction industry that the many stresses of a high pressure, male dominated environment was having its toll on the mental health and well-being of many key personnel, it became an imperative need to promote Mental Health Awareness within Dowds group. With this in mind, we embarked on a Health Matters Initiative with background plans and work starting in early 2017. This initiative is spread throughout all the offices and sites, both in Northern Ireland and London. All employees have access to our ‘Heads Together’ booklet which is a mental health support services guide as well as the connections to our four trained Mental Health First Aiders with another two being trained in June of this year.
Colin Walker (pictured above) is our most recent employee trained as a Mental Health First Aider. He is our Health & Safety Manager and is based in the Ballymoney office, with frequent trips carried out to the different sites both in Northern Ireland and London.
Dowds Group have a key working partnership with Aware NI, a leading support organisation, specialising in Mental Health and Well-Being, who were also one of our chosen charities from our ‘Forty For 40’ campaign last year. Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week and we were informed about the challenges that Aware NI were setting to help improve people mental health and their awareness by running their #DoOneThing campaign. Our employees thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the different challenges every day and even managed to send us through a few of their snap shots.
There was five different challenges across the week including; Move More, Watch What You Eat, Keep In Touch, Take Time For You, Do Something Nice. Dowds group made a great effort throughout the week and it was noted that more people were talking about the challenges everyday as well as mental health.
We received feedback from our employees, both on site and in office about the push that Dowds Group are putting on Mental Health Awareness. A number of our staff have had experience of poor Mental Health and Well-being and the impact that has on their work and home life. We want to be able to provide our employees with the support that they deserve, as well as trying to break the stigma surrounding Mental Health.
We are delighted to announce that we have achieved Building Information Modelling (BIM) Verification covering Design and Construction for BIM Level 2 from BSI (British Standards Institution).
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a collaborative way of working underpinned by digital technologies. These technologies allow for more efficient methods of designing, delivering and maintaining physically built assets throughout their entire lifestyle.
To achieve verification certification, we completed the audit process, which examined in detail our BIM processes, procedures and management systems, to verify compliance with BIM Level 2 in accordance with PAS 1192-2:2013, BS 1192:2007 and BS 1192-4:2014.
Andy Butterfield, Product Certification Director of Built Environment at BSI, said: “We’re delighted to have supported Dowds with achieving this verification certification which demonstrates their commitment to being compliant with the requirements of PAS 1192-2 covering Design and Construction for Level 2 BIM. There are huge benefits to be made from integrating BIM into the supply chain, and BSI is dedicated to supporting organisations with this, regardless of where they are on their BIM journey.”
Martin Magee, Dowds Group BIM Manager said: “Having been at the forefront of BIM in the M&E sector for a number of years, delivering a number of BIM Level 2 projects, achieving BSI BIM Level 2 for Design and Construction Verification, now demonstrates that our procedures and workflows are aligned to industry standards.
Martin Magee expands “The Verification is a significant step forward for Dowds Group, and is testament to the hard work, knowledge and skill set of our BIM team, and proves that we have the capability and expertise to deliver projects to the highest possible standards.”