I’m one of the companies’ Quality Champions in our ISO accreditation, ensuring that procedures are constantly being reviewed and updated, and that non-conformities are being logged, then used as a business improvement tool. 

My career progression wasn’t a typical one, although it gave me an amazing grounding and knowledge of the different sides of the building industry.

Based Bradford
Employer Cardinal

What does your role involve?

I have responsibility for the construction, building and installation side of the business which includes:

  • Strategic planning – creation of marketing, sales, operations and overall business strategies
  • Sales & marketing – input into the brand, our corporate image and the events that we get involved with
  • Estimating – creating submission including costs and quality, adjudication
  • Commercial – overseeing the correct delivery of projects on budget and assisting with final accounts to ensure works are paid for
  • Programming – of new work orders, labour and sub-contractors
  • Operations – assisting operations manager and their team in delivery of projects
  • Health & safety – ensuring that all my colleagues are safe and treated well at work
  • Quality – checking and ensuring all work are of the highest quality
  • Training – working with the HSQE manager to ensure staff are trained up beyond their role

What’s your average working day like?

Full of variety.

It could be assessing new tenders; adjudicating a tender submission with the estimating team before it is submitted to the client; agreeing a final account with the commercial team, or looking at a new concept with our design team.

It’s hard work and a busy role, but it’s very rewarding when you see the various departments complete their element of the journey, and even more rewarding to see the finished product delivered.


What do you like about your role?

Everything! No two days are the same and there’s always a new challenge to overcome.

Go for it! I did and I’ve never looked back. The industry, as a whole, is so rewarding in many different ways.

Michael Brearey

Construction Director

What skills/qualities do you need in your role?

Excellent communication and organisational skills are a must. However, the ability to make a decision and demonstrate leadership through empowering and supporting your team is fundamental.


What was your background before starting this role?

My career progression wasn’t a typical one, although it gave me an amazing grounding and knowledge of the different sides of the building industry.

I started as a site labourer, worked my way up to van driver, and then started to spray paint or varnish manufactured items that we sent to site. As part of this role I purchased all the materials for the business and organised their delivery to the individual sites, and I quickly progressed to procurement manager.

I started a part time Quantity Surveying degree whilst continuing to do my ‘day job’ and from this I moved into site management, onto contracts management, and then to operations manager, where I looked after the contracts team.

I then did a Business degree and was made operations director, then the managing director, which I did for 5 years.

Next I moved to Cardinal as the construction director, because this opportunity came along to further my career at this very exciting and vibrant business!


What are you most proud of in your career?

The two major milestones were progressing through the two institutes I wanted to become a member of since getting into the building industry: Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

CIOB - I became an incorporate member, then a chartered member, moving on to the Fellowship grade, and also gaining the title Chartered Construction Manager.

CMI – I became an associate member, then a chartered member and finally becoming a Fellow. I was then able to complete the assessments to become a Chartered Manager and also appeared in a magazine feature that showcased some of my accomplishments.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

I hope to be in a role, like the one I currently have, which I enjoy - and that gets me out of bed!

I would like to progress my involvement with the CIOB by becoming chairperson of the Leeds Hub and then possibly moving onto a further, higher role within the organisation.

I’d also like to become a chartered environmentalist.


What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in construction?

Go for it! I did and I’ve never looked back. The industry, as a whole, is so rewarding in many different ways.