Meet Steven: Foreman and Diploma student with Builders Academy Australia


We met up with Steven Thompson, a Builders Academy Australia (BAA) Diploma graduate currently working as a foreman for the award-winning commercial construction company Lyons Construction in Geelong. Steven told us about his journey to becoming a foreman, what his job involves and what it’s like to work at a successful construction company.

Name: Steven Thompson

Age: 45

Job title: Foreman

Years of experience: 30

“Straight out of school, at 15 years of age, I became a shopfitter by trade. After that I started my own carpentry business working on commercial jobs. From there, in between subcontracting and things like that, I decided to work with some of the big builders, so I worked for a builder in Melbourne for eight years. I was commuting from Geelong. And now I work with Lyons Construction.”

“I’ve been a foreman for 10 years. I finished up with the company in Melbourne and went down to Geelong hoping to get a foreman’s role, but there was nothing. So I jumped back on the tools and kept on subbying, and then I did the diploma in Building and Construction (Building). That helped me get to where I am now. I’ve been working for Lyons Construction for two years now.”

“We were nominated for an award with the Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBAV) Regional Building Awards. We won in the category for jobs over $10 million. The Master Builders look at all the jobs in different categories and then there’s a committee that goes around to the job sites. The award is for a number of different criteria: the building, the cost, things like that. We won the Excellence in Construction of a Commercial Building over $10 million.”

“I finished the Diploma of Building and Construction a year ago. I did it so I could get back in the industry as a Foreman with a few more qualifications.”

“I did the diploma online via BAA’s Virtual Classroom model. It was the best way because it helps you juggle work and study. It’s so easy online and my Trainer was great – it’s two nights a week and so much easier than doing it in person at one of their sites. You can just do it at home. Just get the computer going.

The diploma helps in my day-to-day work with Australian standards, VBA rules – all kinds of things we need to know. I’ve used it in the last couple of weeks on this current project. It’s always handy.”

“As a Foreman, you have to look after safety, look after everyone on site. Anyone who comes to the site needs to be checked in and checked out. I tell them where to put their gear, what they need to do, things like that. I’m actively involved in the build – I’ve got to keep every trade doing what they need to be doing and doing it properly.”

“I get here at 6.30am and do my OH&S check, do my timesheet, do inductions if I need to, for contractors and new people on site. Then I set up for staff and arriving labour. Then I manage the day, making sure everything is flowing freely. I’ll also check emails and communicate with the architect and the client.”

“I enjoy seeing the finished building, the finished product. My advice for anyone who wants to do what I do is to get a trade and then do a Diploma, basically. It’s a lot easier to have a trade, I think, than just going straight out of school. You know how things run – the hands-on. You know what happens and how everyone works on site.”

Looking to take the next step in your career in building and construction by taking on a Certificate IV or Diploma and becoming a leading Foreman like Stephen? Contact our team at 1300 LEGEND (1300 534 363) or fill out our enquiry form on our contact page and we will get back to you with all the information you need.