John Sisk & Son has a proud record of leadership in the construction industry. For 160 years our name has been synonymous with excellence and high quality work.
Christina Turcu arrived in the UK three years ago with very little English, having come from her native Romania. This week she began a degree course at Liverpool University in Construction Management.
After her arrival in the UK, Christina found work as a cleaner. Then in 2018 she took up a position with one of our subcontractors, Hard Hat, cleaning the offices at our Circle Square project in Manchester.
Those who worked with Christina say she couldn’t do enough for people and even though her English wasn’t great her enthusiasm made up for it.
The Sisk team at Circle Square gave Christina the opportunity to spend three months working as a trainee site administrator. At the same time – Christina Nichols (social value manager at Circle Square) – asked staff on site to help Christina Turcu with her English.
Lunchtime and after-work sessions soon began to pay off and everyone started noticing a big improvement. Christina subsequently got a contract with Sisk where she has gone from strength to strength.
“I can’t thank the team enough for all the support and the welcome I was given,” says Christina. “The knowledge I have gained has helped so much and led me to start my degree in construction.”
As part of our commitment to the mental health & wellbeing of our staff and honouring the Sisk values of Care, Integrity and Excellence we launched our pioneering mental health programme ‘I Am Here’ in 2019.
Over the last number of years Sisk have been working hard to move beyond mental health awareness. It is well recognised that one of the biggest challenges facing the construction sector in the modern era is mental health.
Compassionate connection and conversation are at the heart of ‘I Am Here’. The courage, confidence and skills to have these conversations are achieved through a continual learning and support programme, empowering people to signpost existing help and support services to those in need.
John Sisk & Son realises the importance of work-life balance. As a family business Sisk want to create a work environment in which all staff can achieve this.
We give staff the opportunity to participate in a range of sports and social events throughout the year, including, Run a Muck, Grant Thornton 5K run, Three Peaks Challenge and Dragon at the Docks.
The highlight of the event calendar for many is the Sisk staff family BBQ held in June each year. This gives staff the opportunity to come along with their families to a BBQ with fun and games for both children and adults alike.
The purpose of this employee-driven network is to provide another platform in the business for our people to grow their networks across different business areas and functions, build new skills, and champion our agenda on gender equality.
Our goal is to create an environment where inclusion is part of the fabric of our business. We recognise that our proposed actions on levelling the playing field will only succeed with the right culture along with support from our senior leadership, the commitment of our Diversity and Inclusion action team and clearly defined targets.
We established our diversity and inclusion action team with the stated mission of fostering an inclusive environment, to ensure each person can reach their full potential and that everyone is valued for their unique contribution.
We believe in appointing the best candidate to the job, regardless of gender or any other factors. We will actively seek out opportunities to attract more females into our sector and into Sisk to create an improved gender balance.
We aim to have greater female participation in future graduate programme intakes. This is an ambitious goal, and we will work with local schools and colleges to encourage female participation in STEM subjects and to promote our sector to future students.
Hannah Ward, health & safety advisor made the move to Dublin in 2019 to take up her current role at the Sisk Cherrywood TC2 and TC4 projects. Hannah hails from Co. Tyrone and completed a degree in Environmental Health with a diploma in Professional Practice at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown.
Outside of work Hannah is very passionate about sport and has represented Northern Ireland ladies soccer team at U17 and U19 level and also played for Tyrone ladies GAA team. Hannah continues to be involved in sport since moving to Dublin.
“I really enjoy living in Dublin and keep myself busy outside of work by playing GAA playing with local club, Kilmacud Crokes. The club is located near the Cherrywood project as well so that is convenient for me when going training after work. I transferred to Kilmacud Crokes from my home club Clann Na Ngeal (CNG) in Tyrone. I have played for CNG since I was eight-years-old, but I am looking forward to playing with the girls on my new team next season!”
Hannah recently achieved a personal milestone celebrating one-year with Sisk and is in her element in her day-to-day role. “A day in Cherrywood would start with heading to the induction room to meet the new arrivals to site. I always like to see if we have any comedians in the group! Once inductions and associated safety documentation has been signed, I make my way onto site for a site walk, normally checking for compliance with our S5’s and COVID 19 procedures. My role includes; interacting with sub-contractors, completing safety documentation, audits and training of staff in the new Sisk safety management system.”
On the topic of women working in construction, Hannah believes that there are no barriers to entry into the sector. “I have experienced no stigma whatsoever and all the guys on site treat me exactly like anybody else. I have never felt that just because the industry is male dominated that I couldn’t somehow join it and become an influential part of it. This is the mentality that I would encourage other females to adopt. I have achieved so much in a short space of time on a large-scale project and I hope to continue this for some time to come!”