Lauren Fraser

Lauren Fraser

What company do you currently work for?

Springfield Properties

What is your name?

Lauren Fraser

What is your job title?

Senior Timber Frame Technician

Provide a brief description of your business.

Housebuilder

Describe your career pathway after leaving school.

I got in touch with my careers advisor at school to discuss my options. I knew I wanted a career based on design within the construction industry. My careers advisor put me in touch with another local housebuilder and there was a role being advertised for a trainee timber frame designer. I applied and was successful! I stayed in this position for four years and then decided to leave and join Springfield Properties as a qualified timber frame designer. From then on, I have worked my way up to a senior position in my team.

Have you ever been an apprentice? If yes, please explain what this was, what this involved and why would you encourage others to undertake an apprenticeship.

There aren't many courses for timber frame design - it is a specialised career. The learning for this type of role is through both work experiences and other relevant construction qualifications. I was enrolled in a Modern Apprenticeship in Built Environment and Design alongside my first role as a trainee. This was a two-year course on block release from work - every few months I would go to Inverness UHI for three weeks at a time. This helped me to gain background knowledge in the construction industry. I then went on to achieve my honours degree in Architectural Technology with Springfield through day release - two days a week at Inverness UHI and working three days a week. I am now currently enrolled in an SVQ3 for Management.

What school subjects would be helpful for your job role?

Graphic Communication, Physics, English, and Maths.

What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?

I really enjoy all aspects of my role. I have a passion for learning and no two days are the same. As a senior member of the timber department, I love the added responsibility of maintaining our workload and being in a position to support and encourage other members of my team with their own professional development. In terms of projects I enjoy challenging projects which involve lots of problem solving and creative thinking.

Why did you want to work in this industry?

Working in building design within the construction industry is a great career choice. I wanted to work in this industry to make use of my creative strengths. It gives you an amazing sense of achievement seeing your designs come to life on a building site.

Did you ever want to pursue another career?

Going through school the first career I had in mind was architectural technology. I have always had a keen interest with building design and sustainability. However, I did not feel ready to move away from home and enroll in a full-time university course. Finding my career in the timber frame industry was a great fit for me and something I am really passionate about. It allowed me work full-time and gain my honours degree with university at the same time.

What does a typical day in your role involve?

My responsibilities include planning and maintaining the design workload, allocating designs where required, encouraging designers to meet deadlines, supporting the team’s development and coaching them. Other day to day tasks include preparing accurate timber frame production packs for our factory and detailed site packs for kit erection using AutoCAD and WoodEngine software. I also attend site progress meetings and feedback information to my team. I liaise closely with other departments particularly the technical team and also with external suppliers. I am continually reviewing how we can be more efficient in our design time and processes.

What skills are required to do your job?

Problem solving, creative thinking, good numeracy (but you can always use a calculator!) being able to visualise in 3D, great communication and social skills, good knowledge of microsoft packages and being computer literate.

What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?

If you are considering a career in building design or similar, I would highly recommend finding a trainee position where you can learn on the job and study at the same time to gain both work experience and university qualifications.

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Here at DYW Moray, we'd like to encourage those of you who are employed in Moray to share your career story with us so that we can promote these to Moray's young people. Go on, share your career story now!


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