Training manager Jayne Sloan is responsible for getting construction workers through the NVQ programme. She explains why it is rewarding work
What does your job involve?
I manage a training division for construction company Thomas Vale, so we organise all of their training and the training for their supply chain companies. I've worked for Thomas Vale for seven years, the past two of which have been in a separate business within the group called Forum Training. We're currently working with 270 candidates going through the On-Site Assessment and Training NVQ programme.

Most people take six to nine months to complete the programme but the exact time taken depends on the candidate.

What kind of people go on this programme?
These are mostly experienced workers, who have to gather a portfolio of work-based evidence to demonstrate their skills. Some of them have been doing their jobs for 20 or 30 years, and some are in very specialist trades such as floor laying or internal systems fitting. It's not about teaching them new things a lot of the time, it's about getting them to demonstrate their skills, which they use every day of the week.

Do you spend a lot of time on site yourself?
These days I'm spending more time in the office as we expand the training business, but I do still go on sites and in the past I spent a lot of time out there. It's a very male-dominated atmosphere on site and it can sometimes be intimidating. I know a lot of site managers now so that makes it easier. The camaraderie is one of the good things about construction. People are very nice so I've never felt uncomfortable on a site. The guys look after you. It is a very different atmosphere to a traditional office environment but that diversity is good. It's enjoyable to get out and about.

What do you like most about your job?
I like the variety and the people you meet. I see a lot of different people and there's always lots of things going on. Some people come in to take the tests and are very nervous and worried. It's great to celebrate with them when they do well and pass – they are so pleased, it gives them an enormous high.

What are your aims for the future?
I'd like to see Forum continue to develop and become a truly profitable company, and then I'd like to get a seat as a director of the group. I'd also like to expand our programme so that more people get NVQs each year. Our target this year is to get 270 people qualified. Next year it will be more than that. We want to build on our success so far.

What would be your advice to someone who is interested in training as a career?
It's a good career to go into because there's lots of opportunity to develop your work. There aren't enough NVQ assessors out there and we need people who understand construction sites and skills. It might be a good job for someone who is retiring from the industry, or who wants to slow down.

What are your ultimate goals?
Like many people in construction, we're trying to improve standards. The people who are qualified and trained are going to stand a better chance of getting on so we want to encourage people to take these courses and be forward-thinking. We need to get rid of all the cowboys and ensure that the industry has a good reputation in the long term.

Jayne Sloan

Age 38
Employment history Worked in various staff development jobs, mainly for Aston University, then stopped work to have children. On returning, she became a training manager for a construction company before moving to the Thomas Vale Group’s managing training division, Forum Training
Hobbies As a mother Jayne doesn’t get much spare time, but she likes to go w alking and see her family
Qualifications Institute of Personnel Managers stage one certificate
Lives Droitwich, Worcestershire.
Family Four children