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Joe Nelson talks Earthworks

Senior Contracts Manager at Mick George Ltd, goes under the spotlight to discuss all things Earthworks. What Joe Nelson doesn’t know about Earthworks, quite frankly isn’t worth knowing.

In a quick-fire Q&A on a variety of subject matters, see for yourself what Joe really thinks of the industry - past, present and future, as well as the things that ‘make him tick’ away from the site. We guarantee a few surprises along the way.

Your time starts now…….


- How long have you been employed in the Earthworks industry?
27 Years

- What’s the BEST Earthworks project you’ve been involved with, and why?
Ouse Washes Reservoir; a multi-staged three-year project to raise the flood embankment along a 30km stretch. The working environment is different to that which we usually encounter, bringing about its own unique challenges, especially logistically.

- Why did you choose a career in Earthworks?
Two reasons. Firstly, it’s fair to say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of academia at a young age and therefore education wasn’t my priority. But probably more of an influence, was my fathers’ connection with the industry, which led me to have an interest particularly in machinery.

- What would your career choice be, were it not in Earthworks?
Although I have a keen interest in Boxing and have recently participated in a Charity White-Collar Boxing event, my preference would have been professional football. Having said that, I’m not quite sure I had the appropriate ability.

- How do you feel that the industry has changed?
I’m sure it’s not just me that has this grumble, but there is certainly more paperwork involved. Equally, the industry is far more competitive than ever before which subsequently means we must be far more proactive and innovative in ‘generating’ business. Consequently, this means interaction with other business functions more than ever before. None more so than Marketing.

- Do you have any predictions about the industry in the future?
As with everything in the world, digitalisation seems to be becoming increasingly apparent and I expect that will be no different in our industry. GPS technology is already prevalent and has substantially speeded up aspects of the job. In some instances, machinery is also managed remotely, further taking away personal or manual reliance, and I only anticipate that will increase in the future.

- Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of getting involved with the industry?
Patience. Inevitably we all get drawn in by the machines and would like to jump-on and start digging everything up in our sight, but there is far more to it than that. In my experience, although there is a large degree of on-the-tools learning to be done, it is important to learn-the-ropes in all areas of Earthworks beforehand, broadening your knowledge, allowing for wiser decision making longer term.

- What is the funniest or most memorable moment that you can recall in employment?
Well actually it was prior to my time in Earthworks, but taught me a very important lesson going forward. At age 15, I was labouring to a Carpenter who was completing the relevant inspection to a property that he was pricing-up, when suddenly he fell in to a footing which was filled with water. With just his head, arms and an architectural drawing floating above water levels, he scurried for assistance. Moral of the story, remain aware of your surroundings. Especially important in many of the working environments that Earthworks are frequently conducted. 

Mick George Earthworks


- What is your favourite past-time?
As I mentioned before, football is my main interest. As an avid Manchester United supporter growing-up, I was fortunate enough to witness the continuous success that the Club achieved for a long duration. It has been a little quieter on the trophy count in recent times, but I’m confident that will soon change.

- What is your preferred food consumption to keep you fuelled for the working day?
I don’t think I’ll be alone in stating that it’s probably everything it shouldn’t be. Although I keep myself in decent enough shape, I’m not one for counting calories. I do enjoy my food though.

- What is your favourite song?
It’s probably not what you’re expecting but here goes…..Tiffany; I think we’re alone now. Without going in to too much detail, it has lots of fond memories over-the-years, for various reasons. I suspect I’m going to regret admitting this one!

- Do you have an exotic retirement plans?
Having endured the inclement weather conditions of the UK for long enough, battling against the elements on a daily basis, although I don’t have a specific location in mind at present, retiring somewhere hot is an aspiration.


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