Ruth Scarrott brings her passion for improving life chances and challenging the myths around millennials to her new role of head of careers at the National Federation of Roofing Contractors
Describe a typical day in your job?
No one day is the same – I can be dealing with employer enquiries about how to hire new talent, or supporting them to upskill existing staff, working on content for the careers website (finally utilising my creative writing degree for something productive!) or working with training providers to develop their roofing sector related training.
I also represent the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) at a strategic level with key stakeholders like the CITB, CLC and employer networks. My daughters have summed up my job in two words: changing minds.
What specific skills, knowledge, and attributes do you need?
To be able to influence decision-making is the most important skill I have. This works alongside my experience of 15 years in the careers sector. I have gained in-depth knowledge and understanding about the challenges faced by SMEs alongside the technical knowledge of the training landscape and how to navigate the changing priorities of subsequent governments.
“I am particularly interested in the part that new talent can play in revitalising organisational culture and challenging myths around millennials in the workforce.”
As a passionate advocate for improving life chances for everyone, especially disadvantaged groups, I have a good understanding of what NFRC wants to achieve, and I am looking forward to dedicating my knowledge and experience to delivering these aims.
You came to the job from outside the construction industry. How does it compare with your previous experience?
Previous to my role with NFRC, I worked for a heritage construction charity, so I have come from a very different organisational culture. However, I am still fighting the same challenges in the roofing sector: not enough skilled people to do the job on the scale the country needs.
The first months in my role have been fantastic, with most people I’ve spoken to embracing the changes that I’m proposing. It’s been exciting to enter a role that hasn’t been done before too, and being given the freedom to translate business priorities into action.
What are the challenges your job presents? What are its rewards?
Challenges faced include meeting with jaded business owners who really want to make a difference and address the skills shortages but not being able to due to the complex conditions they’ve been working in. Bringing an outside perspective to them can really turn their opinions around.
I am particularly interested in the part that new talent can play in revitalising organisational culture and challenging myths around millennials in the workforce.
Hearing the good news stories from young people and their employers about what offering careers in roofing can do is what keeps me in this line of work. The reward of seeing a positive difference made (an employer seeing returns on their employee they’ve invested in, for example) is the reason I do my job.
This article was originally published in Construction Management.