Inspirational small business success stories are becoming more common as the construction industry grows and Kenny McAllister is a shining example. Professional Builder’s Patrick Fennelly was lucky enough to have a chat with the young business owner and find out about his ascent into the working world.
It is not uncommon to hear of a 15 year old lad joining their old man on site to earn a bit of extra cash, but for that same labourer to go on to set up his own plastering company and run his own team, within the next couple of years, is quite a rare case. This is what makes Kenny McAllister’s story that little bit different.
Kenny was determined to create opportunities for himself and therefore began his apprenticeship with CITB alongside working with his dad. When asked about why he wanted to start an apprenticeship with CITB, he explained: “The main reason I got involved was because I needed to get my papers, I’d done a lot of work before, with my dad but to go off on my own, I needed to get the proper qualifications to become a plasterer.” The young plasterer had big plans for his future from the beginning and has long been determined to approach the construction industry in a unique way and the idea of setting up his own business had been a priority from the outset.
It is quite a big decision to start your own business in such a competitive industry, so I asked Kenny what inspired him to take that risk and when it came down to it, he gave an honest answer with a motive that any young professional would understand: “It was the money mainly, there’s a lot of money to be made after apprenticeships.” This shows that apprenticeships are not just another way to get you to conform to education; they can actually create an opportunity for you to make serious money and enable you to acquire some of the fundamental skills needed in order to take the next step in your professional career and set up your own business. It is also evident that starting a small business in the construction industry is a risk and making these decisions to venture out of your comfort zone and take these risks is imperative and can be an integral part of your success.
Celebrating the Construction Industry Training Board’s 50th anniversary, the training organisation hosted its Pride of Construction Awards ceremony at Old Billingsgate in London, which rewards key contributions made by individuals, companies and training partners to the industry and Kenny McAllister brought home the 50th Anniversary Apprentice award. This gave Kenny something to add to his CV that very few tradesmen can boast and the recognition elevated his career even further, with his business and achievements now nationally renowned.
Kenny is an outstanding apprentice and a worthy winner of our 50th Anniversary Apprentice award due to his attitude, aptitude and ability. We are delighted to recognise and credit his achievements as he excels in his trade.Kenny is a credit to the industry and we wish him further success in his career.
Andy Walder, Principal at the National Construction College
I asked Kenny what he had planned for the future and he explained: “Well I hope to expand my business; I’ve already been talking to a few guys, so hopefully, I will get a few more people on board.” In terms of advice for people looking to start their own business, Kenny explained: “There is great money in plastering, it’s a great trade and there is plenty of work out there and the construction business is getting bigger at the moment.”
Looking back on the struggle within the construction industry after the recession, the problems that a large amount of small business owners were dealing with and the fact that the average construction worker was aged 51, it is positive to see young people with a professional mentality start up their own business and create opportunities for themselves and Kenny McAllister is a great example of how an apprenticeship can lead to success in business, particularly within construction. It is also refreshing to see a success story like this that proves, again, that there are plenty of opportunities to make money in trades like plastering and the growth in the industry is creating opportunities for innovative young professionals to utilise their knowledge and training to make themselves money and manage their own team of trade professionals.
For more information visit www.citb.co.uk