Young infrastructure construction workers Maddy, Toby and Jack are loving the chance to build their skills, shape their own future and help rebuild the cyclone-damaged Hawke’s Bay region after leaving school and working full time at family business BVF Earthmoving.
These three siblings have been watching, learning and helping their father out for years during school holidays as he and BVF tackled projects as diverse as laying water mains, installing high speed internet cable or building foundations for wind farm turbines.
Now they are all working in the business full time and able to handle just about any earthmoving job that comes up, which they’ll need to do when they eventually take over the company and carry on the family earthmoving tradition.
Oldest sibling Jack left school two years ago and is proud of being part of a successful business. He enjoys the variety as well as the mental gymnastics of planning out projects.
“That’s the main part of the job – using your brain – the machine does the rest of it.
“Everyone on our team can do everything, that’s how we roll. We just get the job done.”
The hard-working 17-year-old says a lot of people don’t understand how large and impressive civil construction projects can be.
“If they actually went on site they’d be amazed by the scale of the work – we’re building the future of New Zealand.”
Toby is similarly dedicated to a career in civil construction and says his favourite part of the work is the satisfaction he gets from improving the country’s infrastructure.
Civil construction is better paid than many other career options and is an ideal choice for people who like to work outside, he says.
“It’s an exciting industry to get into… I just love my job.”
After leaving school five months ago, 16-year-old Maddy has found it easy to adjust to the routine of full-time work as part of the family team, especially when it involves using her favourite 30-tonne excavator.
Maddy is proud of how successful the family business has been, as well as having inspired three of her friends to consider following her lead into a career in civil construction after they finish school.
BVF also has awesome technology and techniques, including drones for site mapping and ongoing training for staff to improve their performance.
She encourages other young people to take advantage of opportunities to visit civil construction work sites for a “test run” so they can gain some experience to help them start working straight away when they leave school. Careers advisors can often arrange for site visits through employers seeking to show keen potential employees the exciting opportunities they can offer.
Parents and BVF Earthmoving directors Blair Patterson and Claire Roy are “immensely proud” of the way the trio have soaked up skills, stepped up to tackle the work, and pushed them to keep growing the business.
Blair says he’s “pretty lucky” they work so well together as a family unit.
“There’s not many situations where that actually happens – and it’s great.”
Blair and Clair started BVF four years ago after cutting his teeth in the industry working as an earthmoving contractor with his father in Southland for 25 years. Moving to the Hawke’s Bay, he has found himself and his family in the right place at the right time, with the skills to help the community recover.
It has been “really satisfying” to help farmers restore access to their farms, despite being flat out, he says.
“We’ve got a great community here and the kids love it – we’re excited to be involved in the community and help in any way possible.”
Blair says his partner Claire is a “huge part of the business”, handling marketing and accounts, as well as inspiring their children to build their own future.
The family have regular monthly meetings where they sit down and find a solution to any problems that come up. During the meetings Blair and Claire pass on their knowledge of client relations, communication techniques and business strategy so Maddy, Toby and Jack are equipped to handle all aspects of the business in the future.
“They’ll take it on from Claire and I eventually and progress it to wherever they want to go”.