An advocate for TICA apprenticeships and the first female to join the governing council, Pauline Palmer has been an instrumental ambassador working to improve policy, encourage best practice, and help address the looming skills gap faced by the industry.
The Health and Safety Director of Lagwell Insulation, one of Scotland’s largest commercial thermal insulation companies, spoke about her journey into the industry and her involvement in TICA.
Pauline said: “It may surprise people but I actually started out in the banking industry, my father and his partners set up Lagwell Insulation in 1994 and I later joined the business in 2007.
“Predominantly my role was in human resources and health and safety. When I initially joined the company we were using an independent health and safety consultant, which was quite costly to the business, so I decided to go back to college to do my NEBOSH qualifications and bring everything in-house.”
Pauline was appointed Health and Safety Director in 2012 and now oversees Health and Safety and HR for a team of 42 staff on sites across both England and Scotland. In addition to this, she joined the governing council as its first female member over a year ago after becoming a key contributor during TICA
She said: “We have a team of four here managing sites and projects everywhere from London to Orkney. It’s part of my role to liaise with clients, inspect sites, complete all documentation and do all risk assessments. It’s Lagwell’s number one priority that our workers are trained and competent and return home each day happy and healthy.
“Being a member of TICA is also part of this. Primarily its’ an accolade and held in great regard when you say you’re a member of theA ssociation, but also it’s important to remember that we have the best training centre in the country by far where we can send both our staff and apprentices.
“Here at Lagwell, 80% of our workforce are long standing employees with a service of 10 years or more. We do not subcontract, so it’s vital to have the support and training available as and when needed. From the facilities available, to the unlimited knowledge and skills of the staff, we know there’s always support and a place to continually up-skill our workforce.
“On top of this we also put two individuals through the TICA apprenticeship programme every Autumn. It’s well documented that the construction industry has an aging workforce and it’s important that as an industry we continue to invest in our future. The apprenticeship programme is a brilliant way in which we can combat this and bring new talent into the sector.
“We’re incredibly happy with where we are as a business and have numerous projects coming up in the next few months. For us over the next year, it’s about continuing to provide a high quality service and maintaining the highest possible health and safety standards, whilst being part of a membership association that continually supports us.”