For those of us in the UK, the summer of 2023 will be remembered for being distinctly unmemorable. I like to focus on the positive though, my garden is looking lush and green, we enjoyed a week of glorious weather at the start of September, and the Iconic Summer BBQ was free of rain for the third year in a row!
The relentless rain has caused challenges with a couple of our projects and various activities have had to be rescheduled around it. Despite the weather, the runway extension at Southampton International Airport, that senior project manager Mike Weeks has been working on for so long, is finally operational. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that September will bring fine and dry weather to help the rest of our projects progress smoothly.
Autumn is my favourite time of year and September always feels like a fresh start to me. So much of my life has been dictated by the school year, whether through my own education or that of my children, that it feels like a time of great excitement for the months ahead. We’re feeling that in the Iconic office at the moment too as September brings about a number of eagerly anticipated changes.
A new academic year
Our purpose is to make the construction industry a space that offers opportunity, in which people can be proud to work, and we’ve always seen an apprenticeship programme as a key part of that.
You may remember that this time last year we recruited our first ever apprentice. Mine and Darren’s son Oscar agreed to be our guinea pig and joined us as a trainee project manager, studying BSc Construction Management (MRICS) at the University College of Estate Management (UCEM).
The first year of his five-year apprenticeship has been a resounding success; he’s gone from fresh school-leaver to confidently delivering small projects and programmes, and generally being a useful resource to support our whole project management team.
We are absolutely delighted that our second apprentice, Rachel Hounsell-Roberts has just joined us and is about to embark on her own degree. She’ll be studying the same programme as Oscar through UCEM and is looking forward to becoming a fully qualified and experienced project manager by 2028.
We’ve spent the last year perfecting our apprenticeship programme and it’s become embedded in our strategy for growth. Our apprentices are getting the best possible start to their careers, with all the guidance, experience and training they need to become expert project managers. Plus, they will graduate with no student debt.
In return, we can mould them into exactly the kind of project manager that Iconic needs. We also enjoy having them around – bright young people who are eager to learn add to the buoyant atmosphere in our office.
We are committed to two intakes a year to our apprenticeship programme so, if you or someone you know is interested, please check out our apprenticeship page.
A new football season
If you spend any time in the Iconic office, you are bound to pick up that there’s a lot of football chat going on. It isn’t a requirement that you love football to work here, but most of the team seem to.
This year we have more reason than ever before to be looking forward to kick-off: Iconic Project Management are proud to be lead club sponsor of Binfield FC for the 2023-24 season.
If you visit The Iconic Stadium at Hill Farm Lane, you’ll more than likely find me there, cheering on The Moles.
Having a positive impact on our local community is important to our whole team. Binfield FC is one of the largest community football clubs in Berkshire, with a whopping 36 teams and 450 players. They give children the opportunity to play football from the age of three, through their popular soccer school. They have teams for all age groups, including adults.
The construction industry is traditionally regarded as a male-dominated space. Iconic are proud to be a female-led construction company and are rebelling against the stereotype. I know that, when I was a young woman in the ‘90s, it would never have crossed my mind to consider a career in the construction industry so we’re working hard to make our sector an attractive and welcoming space for women.
We see parallels between our industry and the footballing world, where women have traditionally been under-represented too. We’re delighted that, as part of our sponsorship of Binfield FC, Iconic will be helping them to form a women’s first team, with a view to having them ready to compete in the 2024/25 season.
A new look
Unless you’ve never come across Iconic before (in which case, welcome. It’s lovely to meet you!), you’ve probably noticed that we have a smart new look. We’d been wondering about changing our look for a while and our sponsorship of The Moles was the catalyst we needed to get us moving forward with it. The signage all around The Iconic Stadium looks fabulous with our new logo and branding.
It's been five years since Darren and I founded Iconic and a lot has changed in that time. We’ve gone from kitchen-table industry, just the two of us, to a thriving business full of incredibly accomplished and dedicated people.
I’m enormously proud of what we’ve built here but we’re not resting on our laurels – Iconic will continue to evolve over the coming months and years. In fact, we’re currently working on something revolutionary that we’ll be telling you about later in the Autumn.
To celebrate our five-year anniversary, and to fit in with our grand plans for the future, we wanted a new grown-up look that would have the flexibility to evolve with the company.
Marketing Manager Ben Eltham and I have worked with the wonderfully talented Lynsey Terry at LJ Creative to create a new logo and detailed brand guidelines that will give us the adaptability we’re looking for. I’m sure you’ll agree that it looks great!
Lizzie is CEO at Iconic Project Management, taking care of the running of the business so that the project managers can get on with the important job of managing projects.
Check her out on LinkedIn or say hi on Twitter @captainlizzo.