At NETA our team of instructors not only know their stuff but they also have the benefit of years of industry experience to share. In this, the second of our ‘NETA Experts’ series we catch up with Scaffolding Co-ordinator, Michael Allan.
“Scaffolding is a career where you know every day will be different.”
Working in scaffolding might not seem the most glamorous way to travel the world, but let’s face it the views don’t come much better.
Ask NETA’s scaffolding co-ordinator Michael Allan, he’s spent 30 years in the trade and it has taken him all over the globe.
Whether scaling a frontline shipping fleet sailing from Brazil to South Africa or training scaffolders on a gas refinery in Israel, working offshore as core crew in Norway or preparing Vancouver’s Sea Launch platform for its next rocket, his career hasn’t lacked variety. He’s even been involved in organising the scaffolding on concert stage sets for the likes of Oasis, U2 and Take That.
Today Michael is putting all that experience to good use sharing his knowledge as part of NETA’s team of expert instructors.
As passionate about the trade as ever, he says: “Scaffolding is a temporary work of art when you think about it. You are a structural engineer, creating something that serves a purpose and then taking it down again.”
He admits it is hard work and demands being out in all weathers but it can earn you a good living.
Money aside, as a 16-year-old choosing which direction to take, Michael says working outdoors was always part of the appeal.
“I knew that I had to work with my hands and I wanted to work outdoors. I never liked the idea of someone standing over me, telling me what to do.”
For him, scaffolding was the perfect fit and as it turns out he was pretty good at it too.
Proving his worth with the hands-on stuff he progressed into management and training with companies including multinationals, Alustar and Interserve. He also set up his own family business.
He says: “I’m the type of character that always has to be on the go that’s the thing about a scaffolding career; you know that every day will be different.”
Worked on: Gas platforms, oil rigs, container ships, rocket platform, petrochemical plants, oil and gas refineries