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From Leakage Technician to Team Leader to Contract Supervisor

Having the opportunity to develop into a more challenging position is something that we all strive for when considering a new role. At RPS, we pride ourselves on empowering our people to grow within their careers, but what does this actually take? Read Myles’ story on how he climbed the ranks within the Leakage industry before finding his way at RPS.

04 April 2024 | 2 min read
Myles Heatherington - Contract Supervisor AS&I

I'm Myles Hetherington, I'm the contract supervisor for Active Leakage Control (ALC), predominantly on the Southeast Water Framework for AS&I.

I've been in the industry for 7-8 years now. I come from a plumbing background, so I started in domestic plumbing and heating and then moved into leakages as a technician. I had the opportunity to move up to team leader and then contract supervisor with RPS and now I've been with RPS coming up to 3 years since June 2021.

I've been in the role for just over a year now as a contract supervisor. I started as a team leader on the Southern Water Framework in Hampshire, then moved over to a contract supervisor role with Wessex Water. Then, finally, I moved over to Southeast when the framework started there, this time last year.

Would you say there's a lot of progression opportunities from a leakage technician role?

For the right individual, there are many opportunities for sure. I think it's difficult finding skilled individuals in leakage, because it's very niche and this can lead to issues in finding the right candidates to progress.  RPS do things very differently. We have our own training structure where we train technicians to acquire more skills.

What about RPS or your current role stood out to you, that made you want to join us?

I've worked for other contractors in the past in leakage, and I find RPS has a much more professional approach. I think that's missing in the Water industry. Whereas RPS is quite broad and has a lot to offer, not just the services side, but the consulting side as well. I think there's a lot they can sort of lean on other parts of the business, whereas other contractors in leakage normally only deal with water and don't have as wide of a scope. I had also heard great things about RPS when  I was working on my previous project when RPS had the contract. RPS always had quite a good reputation, so when the opportunity came up to join them, I took it seriously.

Myles Heatherington - AS&I Contract Supervisor

I normally start the day by seeing the team and team leaders' plans for the day. I have two team leaders under me for Southeast, so I see what they're up to in the day. I look for what needs to be done. If they've got a set plan for the day, I might add a few bits to that plan. Today, for example, we've had an incident in one of the regions in Sussex. So I've had to pull one of the team leaders away from his normal duties and send him over there to ensure that that incident is followed through correctly.

It's predominantly my role to monitor the performance of the ALC (Active Leakage Control) teams. On a Monday, I'll run a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) report, and I'll look at where we are, and where we need to be, and I'll see what we can do to ensure that we hit our target. It might be that we have a conversation with the technicians. We might pull in the client and ask if we can move them to a different area where an incident of leakage might be a bit higher. It is all quite reactive. 

Other than that, I sort of jump on things as and when, but predominantly I'm monitoring performance and sort of overseeing the sort of day-to-day running of the contract.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

It’s a bit of a cliché, but it is different every day.

I think as a leakage technician, where I come from, it was different every day up to a point, but I was still looking for leaks every day. That was something that I was always doing and now I might be flying off to Kent for a meeting, maybe one day, I have an incident report to deal with, or maybe I have to go to Abingdon to see some of my health and safety advisors for a chat up there. It's very diverse and it does keep me on my toes.

Myles Heatherington - Contract Supervisor AS&I

My advice to people who are looking to join is to come in with an open mind. We have a great training programme, so I think be open to learning new methods of working. I think something that RPS do that other companies don't, is they give you more of a lead to get things done. There are always people and support there if you need it. Team leaders advise you and training managers do regular checks to see how you're getting on, but you're not going to be hand-held through the process. So, there's a bit more initiative.

I think that's good because it sets you up for the future. If you do want to progress and take that step, they provide the tools and that is all part of great training. That all sets you up for the future if you do want to take the next step up.

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