This week we caught up with Cameron McIntyre, a Builders Academy student who’s working as a site foreman for ADCO while finishing up his night classes for the dual Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) CPC50220  and Diploma of Building and Construction (Management) CPC50320.  See below for Cam’s take on scheduling, managing other trades, and making the most of your industry experience.


“​I’ve always been in construction. I was a plasterer by trade beforehand, and before that I was at high school. I’m still at Builders Academy—my last class was yesterday. I’ve done everything at night, a couple of nights a week. The course basically gives me a better understanding of what I’m doing on the job.”


“​This building is going to be student accommodation. It’s twelve storeys, plus the ground floor, plus the plant deck—so we’re working across fourteen floors. It’s continuous. When I first started here, I had a pedometer set on my watch and I was doing 20,000 steps average a day, up and down the building.”


​”As a site foreman, my main tool is probably my phone or the two-way. Everyone can contact me on the phone, but only ADCO personnel have the two-ways: the other site supervisors, our labourers, that sort of thing. If there’s ever an emergency, that will come in over the two-way.”


“​All the hot water and all the air ventilation comes from up here. These are the solar panels for the hot water. You’ve also got air return systems set up for if there’s a fire – the stairwells are pumped full of fresh air. The hydronic heater panels and the condensers for the air conditioners for the common areas are split between here and the level five rooftop.

And over there’s Flemington Racecourse. That was action-packed last month. We’re probably a bit far away to actually watch the race, but yeah. Not too bad.”


“​The main challenge is probably the scheduling. Also, it’s not just a matter of getting the work done. Everything has to meet Australian standards. We have to meet fire regulations to make sure it will be safe for the students who are going to be in here. There’s a lot more involved than with building domestic homes. That’s where the diploma helps. It touches on a lot of that programming stuff, a lot of the Australian standards and the builders code. I’m starting to get across it now.”


“This project will be finished before Christmas and we’re about sixteen months in. We do seven days a week and night shift as well. Sometimes we start at 5am but most guys start at 7am. I normally get here by 6.30am and I’m here ’til six each night. We have about 200 people on site at the moment, so another challenge is that not everyone’s friends. You have people working on top of each other, which causes conflict occasionally. The site foremen are almost like mediators sometimes.”


“To do this job you’ve got to be motivated. And self-driven. If you need someone to tell you what to do every day then this isn’t the job for you. And you need to have some sort of experience in the industry, otherwise the guys on site aren’t going to give you the respect you need. I’m not a sparky, I’m not a plumber, I’m not a chippy, but being a plasterer for so many years I know bits of the other roles. So you know what they need, and that helps in the long run.”

Legend. Thanks Cam. For more info on the Diploma courses in Building and Construction, check out our courses page or give the team a call on 1300 LEGEND.