February 3, 2022

An Interview with Muhammad Al-Hameed

A little bit about the Construction Industry Club

The club’s mission is to provide help and support to many tradespeople within the construction industry around the world, including sole traders and companies (SME’s).

We know how hard it can be to go from becoming fully qualified trade professionals and then facing the difficulties in the industry of winning work etc. Therefore, we will be serving those who are already in the industry and who are looking to go into the industry. This can be from students who are studying for any construction trades and degrees i.e. (bricklaying, plastering, joinery/carpentry, plumbing/heating, electrical engineering, paint & decorating, construction management, construction technology, civil engineering, building surveying) etc.

Not only are we going to help the upcoming new trade professionals but help those who are already in construction wanting to get more out of the industry. We also understand all the hard work and effort that is put into learning a trade but then not having an open path to take, starting a business or a career in construction.

The way we will be delivering help and support is by having worldwide construction leaders give their insight. This will include what to expect going into the industry and how to get the best out of it. The construction industry leaders who will be working close with us to bring you the help are those who have already experienced what it’s like to work in construction.

Our Aim: To accomplish this objective we will be holding trade hubs, trade networking events, trade college/academy talks, and university talks as in many places, worldwide.

We have also created a Facebook and a LinkedIn group (CIC CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY CLUB WORLDWIDE), for anyone who’s a trade professional or going to become a trades professional. To use the group to interact with other trade professionals to gain knowledge but most importantly get the information needed to excel in the construction industry. You can be a trade professional anywhere in the world to get the help you need and have the willingness to succeed.

History of the Construction Industry Club

CIC Construction Industry Club was officially launched in March 2020, one year and eleven months from today. The main reason for bringing the club to live was to “Give Back”, hundred percent to the construction industry community, globally and to those who want to join the industry from the very beginning.

There’s no age restriction on who we help in the construction industry, all age groups are welcome to receive the help to excel in the industry. Doesn’t matter, if their 60 years of age, we believe there’s still room for improvement as everyday is a school day.

How does Construction Industry Club help the Construction Industry?

The organisation helps the heart of the construction industry, by helping the construction workers who are the ones running and will be impacting the industry with their huge involvement. Without these male and female professionals and professionals to be, the construction industry would not be standing, where it is today. 

We help and recognise the importance of everyone’s attributes to really excel in the industry to the fullest. 

The understanding we have with most professionals, what stops them from achieving and doing best in the industry is not knowing the stuff they have to do in the background. Not having the help and support to get to the positions they need to succeed, and most cases fall short.

We are already and will be working close with upcoming and existing construction professionals to help them immensely in achieving their ultimate goals of succeeding in the industry. We will be doing this through trade networking/events, trade college/academy talks, and university talks as in many places, worldwide.

My Role within the Construction Industry Club that Helps the Industry

The role I have within the organisation is a big part of the organisation's structure as I would say, I have mastered the construction industry from the very beginning to the top and I know what is needed to be done to help others in becoming successful too.

The mistakes that I made early in my career and running of my first ever construction company I have many resources, which have been formatted into the organisation’s objectives.

Positive Things of Running the Construction Industry Club

One main positive of running the organisation is knowing one day how I will have helped and given back to the construction industry. I strongly believe sharing and giving others the help to succeed same as yourself is highly important. 

Running this organisation is a great way to bring and see all construction professionals come together to see each other’s achievements.

So Far at the Construction Industry Club

Since the launch of the organisation, we have already started to make difference to many construction professionals and have had a great amount of positive feedback from individuals, who are excited to be part of the organisation's journey.

There is still more to come from us to make a great club for the construction industry, globally and are dedicating our time to make sure we achieve our organisation's mission.

My Journey into the Construction Industry

The first half of my journey, to being owner of a national construction company in the UK, is indeed intriguing and strangely inspiring.

I remember, when during the period of my secondary education; times when studying was soul-destroying, and the mere mention of school sounded like punishment to my ears. I knew immediately that schooling was not my calling. Don’t get me wrong, my first year in high school was probably the best; might be because I was still fresh, the nightmare started during my second year. Since then, I was never able to get on my feet again. I literally went off the radar when I started doing what pleased me, which of course took my attention away from school, making me skip classes often. Strangely, the time I spent in travelling going from my home city to the school, which was roughly twelve miles. Came to me like a vacation from school, with me longing for the bus to spend longer time on the road. I never stayed home, I got off my backside to travel all the distance, every single day just to hang out with my friends and to show my parents I’m not at home just bunking off.

Things got worse when I entered my fifth year in high school; the school decided to suspend me permanently, however I was still able to do my GCSE’s. Studying was going to be a problem because unlike the other students, who went to school for revision and got help from the teachers for the final exams. I couldn’t, instead I had heaps of revision books to study from, at home all by myself.

This predicament was supposed to change me and bring me back to my senses but surprisingly it made me worse; I hated school even more. The exams finally approached, and I went back to school to take them but before going into the exam halls I got into a fight. Which of course led me to immense trouble; luckily for me I escaped the chance of being denied the opportunity to sit my GCSE’s.

The exams were finally over, and it was time for another set of worries, my grades. How will my grades look like; of course, I wasn't really worried about them for myself, instead I was worried about how my parents would react at the sight of me failing. I had put them through many worries, during my early teenage years and this would be more devastating to them. It was at this point in my life that I knew I had to fix myself; I cannot continue to live my life in this way. Finally, I decided to go into further education, at college even though my GCSE results were good enough to proceed my A-level’s, but I was resilient in my decision.

Things didn't change much in my first few years at college, I was still that teenage boy who came to lectures late and missed most of them. It might be that I clenched to that teenage boy because of my parent's incessant demands. They wanted me and my siblings to grow up faster than usual. They wanted us to stand on our feet so early in life; I was rebellious to the idea, so I lagged in this aspect compared to my siblings.

Halfway through my second year in college, I got my first ever paid job working in one of the top High Street Banks, Lloyd's as a Personal Finance & Mortgage Advisor. Unfortunately, for me the bank closed after, having worked there for a full year. Having left me once again unemployed, as no other banks needed employees. I decided to opt for retails; working at three retails, for a short period of time until another metamorphosis took place in my life.

It all started when I decided to do, what I enjoyed in my life rather than, what other people enjoyed. So, I left from doing a full year of free work experience four times a week whilst being at school, working for a construction firm to give me, my early career start. I decided to look back, having worked in the construction sector, which had always been pleasurable to my heart. So, I went on a job searching spree online and I found this company called Colas, which their services only involved carrying out highway and motorway works. They were hiring, after a stressful waiting on return of my application, to see if I was successful. I became successful and I was over the moon until I realised the condition for the job. I had to study once a week at Uni and work the rest. Just like an apprenticeship, to become qualified after five years and become graduated too.

This is when my life changed a lot; I went ahead to work for Colas and whilst I was doing my degree in BEng (Hons) Degree in Civil Engineering (Motorway Maintenance) & Construction Management. In my last two years to become fully qualified I had to study and work hard at the same time. But I didn’t let pressure get to me, as it was what I enjoyed doing, being a more hands-on person and not a pen to paper person.

What sparked my interest in Construction?

My career started in an unusual way. In my primary years (age of 4), my father always had me involved in helping with building work, he used to do around the house. When I used to get sent home from primary school for not doing what I was told. Thinking I’ll have better time at home my father used to punish me by getting me involved in upgrading the house by me having to be a labourer for the remaining of the day. 

This happened to me on many occasions, where overtime I enjoyed helping my father doing the building works.

So, when both of my parents and siblings weren’t at home I used to get up to mysterious stuff. By getting my old mans joinery tools and spare wood to build wooden crafts.

When it came to my secondary education, I was over the moon to find, I could take Resistant Materials and Systems & Control as my two favourite subjects.

The time came close to being in fourth form where I had to choose, which subjects I wanted to sit for my GCSE’s, I wasn’t really interested if I sat the two Design and Technology subjects.

Lucky for me the school had came up with a new idea to let the students, who didn’t fancy sitting in classes full time. To do work experience from fourth form to end of fifth form and duration of four days a week.

The opportunity wasn’t so easy and straight forward, being selected as one of them students. I had to go out of my own way to find an employer who would take me on for two years, being fifteen years of age at the time.

When I came to this stage, having to look for an employer it wasn’t so horrifying at the time. As I already had a building company in my mind, the same building company my childhood neighbour’s son was working for.

Having made my mind up and being so adamant that I was going to work for this building company. I pushed my work experience coach to get me booked in for an interview, with the company’s owners as it was a family managed business.

Luckily enough my work experience coach stood by me and assured me, it can go both ways for me. I’ll either get accepted for a placement or I might not but told me not to worry as there will be other company’s out there, who would consider taking me on.

In my mind, I knew they won’t say no, if I was to sell myself and tell them if they gave me a placement, how much of an asset I can be to the company.

Just by chances saying this to one of the Co-Director’s, I was accepted on the spot. This point onwards my early career started and my love for working in the construction industry continued.

What has the industry taught me?

The construction industry has taught me a lot, especially if you want something you have to keep pushing until you get it. Now, having been in the industry for over 15+ years professionally, I have experienced the ups and downs of being in the industry but without the downs, I would not be in my position today. 

Before, I stepped up from my amateur’s years in the industry to becoming a construction professional. I wanted to master all the trades in construction starting off by being qualified bricky, then went on to do, (joinery/carpentry, roofing, plumbing, and heating, electrical, plastering). Only because I had a young dream of becoming all rounder qualified tradesmen and without myself belief, I would not have accomplished my dream. 

If there’s one thing the industry has taught me well is, nothing is done without really, being true to yourself.

Did you have any mentors?

I had many mentors from the age of fifteen when my career started in the construction industry including (my work coach, professional tradespeople, who I worked alongside with, co-directors) etc. 

When I moved on after many years and decided to start my first construction company, I had a totally different mentor. Which was not involved in the construction industry whatsoever but was from a retail background. He was a multi-millionaire and ran, one of the country’s leading bargain stores, which a lot my think it’s strange to have gone to someone without the same industry background. But that’s one mistake I didn’t make because I needed a mentor, who had mastered of running successful businesses and helped me in achieving my, ultimate goal. 

Without having a mentor, I would have not been able to have achieved what I have today, and I can put my hands up without hesitating.

What would I tell my younger self?

There are quite a few things I would tell my younger self but one main thing I would have changed back then. Would not have wasted any time pursuing to use the opportunity in my college years to get qualified faster. I used the time in the wrong places until it was too late, and I had to move on from free college study to do the trade courses to having to go to paid academies to achieve my qualifications. I had to dish out a great amount of investment just to do intense courses to get fully qualified, where I could have achieved when I had the opportunity at a younger age.

Moving on, when I started my first construction company at the age of twenty-three, I would have accepted help, that was there for me instead of trying to do everything all alone. Which would have saved me from making mistakes that had to be learned the hard way.

What Can you See for the Future of the Construction Industry?

The future of the construction industry will see opportunities such as new government spending on infrastructure, a rethink on how commercial space is used and a drive towards sustainability. But industry success will also be tested by the ongoing effects of COVID-19, a slow economy and Brexit.

In these times for the construction industry, it’s a huge test as the high price rise of materials has risen in great amount. This not only makes it difficult for the projects to go ahead but makes it difficult for businesses to cope with having to place different strategies to overcome this issue. 

Right now, it’s too early to state what direction the industry is going but what one thing we can say and know is the construction industry has for many years been in trouble. But has come back on top numerous times, overcoming the hurdles on the way, why we can’t lose hope of seeing a great future in the industry.  

Muhammad Al-Hameed

Muhammad Al-Hameed
Construction Industry Club
Construction Industry Club

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