As British Gypsum celebrates 100 years in the industry it wants to champion the trade and has been out on the road meeting some of the unsung plastering heroes. In this next feature, British Gypsum catches up with British plasterer Bill Layley who has recently been bringing their plastering skill-set abroad.
I have always been a builder, even since the age of eight when I would make cups of tea on site for my brother who is a builder. I started off as a bricklayer and then one day I was asked if I would be interested in learning how to plaster so I picked up a trowel and found that I was a natural.
Recently I have been really enjoying the experience of bringing my skillset abroad. I first did a job in France in September for an English builder I used to work for that has moved out there. Since then I have also worked on a loft and a farm conversion in France for different clients.
It is hard to find someone with the right skillset and because I am backed by British Gypsum it puts a lot of trust into builders in my work. I first secured the work abroad because of my reputation and previous experience working with the builder. Off the back of the positive results from that work I have been able to secure more projects abroad.
“When English customers see that you are in demand abroad for your expertise it instils confidence in them in your ability.” Bill Layley
Doing jobs abroad is not for everyone and it often depends on who you are working for. You need to make sure you can recuperate the outlays of travel but it is not just about the money – it also helps to build the portfolio. When English customers see that you are in demand abroad for your expertise it helps to secure more work here because it instils confidence in them in your ability. If you are in demand hundreds of miles away, then you must be good.
One of the things I really enjoy about my work abroad is the different experience it offers. I take pride in being able to bring my UK skillset to a French product. I also enjoy being exposed to different clients, a different community and a different way of life.
Bill Layley is an inspiring example of a UK tradesperson transferring their skill-set to a foreign market. Look out for British Gypsum’s next interview in the next article.
For more information about Bill Layley please visit his Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/layleyzplastering