Wednesday 11th November 2020: Andrew King is a site agent based in northern Sweden with John Sisk & Son. Andrew’s journey with Sisk began in 2001 where he served his carpentry and joinery apprenticeship in the Sisk Training Centre. He then went on to become a trainee foreman after he completed his apprenticeship.
Can you tell us about your current role in Sweden?
I am one of the site managers looking after the Data Centre internal fit out. Originally my role was site set up and logistics in getting it to the high standards that are expected.
We have a great team set up here led by Derek Meagher. Everyone digs in when it comes to evening and weekend shifts meaning that I have a great work life balance, where I get to experience life in a whole new way from when I lived back home in Ireland.
What do you do in your spare time in Sweden?
My spare time is spent in the great outdoors. We have two seasons; in Winter (snow and darkness) and Summer (24 hours of sunshine).
In summer I cycled, ran, hiked and fished every week. In winter I ski, snow mobile, ice fish and just basically explore this magical area. When people think of -20 or -30 temperatures, they shudder with the thought of it but I love it, life experiences I will remember forever.
What advise would you give to any apprentice looking to travel to gain international experience?
I never thought I would end up working abroad as I have a young family with three young boys.
Two enjoyable years have almost passed in Sweden now. I have no regrets in moving away so my advice to younger guys and girls is to be brave, step out of your comfort zone and try new rewarding challenges for your career. You will meet so many great people along the way with friends made for life.
Have you worked on any other European jobs and has language barrier ever been an issue?
I have never worked away before. I was hoping to come away from Sweden being able to speak Swedish, but the fact that everyone up here speaks perfect English it is very difficult to pick up the local language.
What advantages do you think working abroad has given you to further your career progression?
The trust that has been put in me to allow me to do things my way up in Sweden has to be acknowledged. It’s too early to tell what it’s doing for my career long term, but the way it’s going to date only good can come from it.