Our People & their Stories

The Keystone Group is built on the expertise and success of our employees. Learn more about what drives a handful of our employees and their stories below.

Charlotte Armstrong

Area Sales Manager
Keystone Lintels

Michelle Langford

Financial Services Manager
IG Lintels

Caroline Meredith

General Manager
IG Lintels

Poppy Moses

Business & Admin Apprentice
Keystone Lintels

Scott Denham

Sales Director
IG Masonry Support

Harry Broxholme

Fabrication & Welding Apprentice
IG Masonry Support

Josh Toplis

Fabrication & Welding Apprentice
IG Masonry Support

Nathaniel Hutchings

PMO Apprentice
Smartroof

Richard Barnett

Project Engineer
IG Masonry Support

Emma Kirkland

Customer Service Manager
Keylite Roof Windows

Jasmine Ali

Accounts Assistant
Smartroof

Drew Pearson

Sales Team Leader
Keystone Lintels

Lee Frazer

R & D Engineer
Keylite Roof Windows

Eloise Redfern

Sales Team Leader
Keylite Roof Windows

Steven Arrell

Technical Engineer
Keylite Roof Windows

Eoghan McCormick

Structural Engineer
Keystone Lintels

Blessmore Ncube

Graduate
Smartroof

Karan Sodhi

Commercial Graduate
Keystone Lintels

You

Your next career move
Keystone Group

Richard Barnett
Project Engineer, IG Masonry Support

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

Simply put, engineering is interesting and enjoyable to me. I like understanding the rules of how objects and materials work and interact, then applying this knowledge to solve increasingly difficult problems. It’s challenging because there’s always new situations and problems to solve, and satisfying when you do manage to get an effective and efficient solution! Since I was young I’ve had a curiosity for how things work, move and interact in the world, I would pull things apart and attempt (usually unsuccessfully) to put them back together.

As I went through school I enjoyed learning the sciences especially physics and applying the scientific methods to real world situations. I’ve always picked up maths pretty easily and engineering is the practical combination of the two. I’ve been with IG Masonry Support for 6 months now and am really enjoying my time here. Friendly co-workers and challenging work means I’m engaged on the job and satisfied at the end of the day.

What does your day to day job involve?

As a Project Manager, I oversee the projects progression on our end usually from when it is quoted through to delivery of product on site. Managing project timelines and delivery dates means my duties include liaising with architects, clients and buyers to stay on top of what they require from us and when they need it for, while also assisting detailers to engineer and design the most effective solution. This can also include doing calculations to check tolerances and designing new sections for unique or difficult areas of the project.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

The Keystone Group offers me an interesting and exciting career within my field of study and are committed to employee growth, supporting my progress towards becoming a qualified chartered engineer.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

When clients come to us with an issue or problem, although it may seem difficult at first, there is always a solution. You work at it and figure out what needs to happen to find the answer. It can be very satisfying to see the issue resolved and get back to the client with the answer.

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

Speaking from my experience, Keystone offer me a friendly supportive environment, they want you to be happy and satisfied working here. There is flexibility to move around within the group and develop your skills further. The support system is great and I have no hesitations about bringing any issues I encounter to the attention of management. I’d say if Keystone has a role available you’re interested in, you will probably enjoy your time here.

What do you enjoy doing outside of Keystone?

Being fairly new to the UK, I’m enjoying exploring new towns most weekends and finding new places to hike and explore nature. Coming from Australia I can’t believe how green this country is (less so this summer) and also how much culture and history everywhere has. As well as this I train most days at the gym and am always looking for live music to enjoy.

Emma Kirkland
Customer Service Manager,
Keylite Roof Windows

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

When I was younger I wanted to be a footballer, but didn’t we all! After studying a Sports Diploma, followed by a Beauty Therapy NVQ, by chance, I started my career with the Keystone Group as a receptionist over 7 years ago; and as my passion for customer service progressed, I moved onto SOP where my aspirations grew to line manage a team.

Following this I was successful in landing the SOP Team Leader role where I spent 3 years developing my people and progressing my management skills. From here my career path has taken me through to my current role as Keylite Customer Service Manager.

What does your day to day job involve?

My day to day job involves focussing on development projects such as progressing our technology solutions; Keylink and NAV, handling any escalated customer service concerns, improving our current operating procedures and dealing with any internal and external queries, whilst maintaining and challenging our current service levels in-line with market expectations. Although if any department needs any help I’m happy to dig in and get the job done!

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

The Keystone Group is like a family, I enjoy coming to work every single day. If you’re willing to work hard and put the effort in, they will provide you with the opportunities and the platform to develop and progress your own skills.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy communicating with a variation of different people on a daily basis, from the Managing Director of a Builders Merchant or a new home owner through to a Keylite Sales Manager. Having the flexibility of being able to ‘go the extra mile’ for the customer always keeps me on my toes and ensures I never have a dull day! I enjoy the challenge of finding the best solution to any problem.

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

If you like a fast-paced, family orientated organisation then this is the place for you.

What do you enjoy doing outside of Keystone?

Every weekend I watch home and away Leicester City games with my Granddad, which often involves a lot of travelling. I also enjoy evenings at home with my husband watching a box-set with a take-away and visiting family and friends. I also have 2 cats that keep me busy!

Jasmine Ali
Accounts Assistant,
Smartroof

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

I was always into maths and art at school, maths is not the usual subject everyone likes, but I enjoyed all the problem solving that was involved in Maths. As this was the subject I was into, I decided to pursue my passion in maths and secured an apprenticeship in finance, which is where it all started. It’s coming up to 2 years now that I have been with the Keystone Group and I’m really enjoying it.

What does your day to day job involve?

My day to day jobs involve overlooking purchase ledger and credit control, assisting the Financial Controller, controlling bank transactions, learning to create reports and getting information prepared for month end.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

I was previously working as part of the Keystone Group for IG Masonry Support, I enjoyed the role I was in but wanted to learn more and take that one step higher. I wanted to stay with the Keystone Group as there is a real passion for success within the company and that is really nice to be a part of. Taking on my new role within Smartroof gave me the opportunity to learn more about the Keystone Group as a whole and I am very thankful for the opportunity.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy helping my colleagues and working as a team. My job gives me the opportunity to learn new skills, I am always learning something new as there is always a new challenge every day.

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

The Keystone Group is a very welcoming group, full of people who want to bring out the best in you, and there are a lot of opportunities so I would fully recommend pursuing you career with the Keystone Group.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Out of work I enjoy socialising and doing different activities.

Drew Pearson
Contract Sales Team Leader,
Keystone Lintels

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

Although my favourite subjects in school were P.E & History and I had no real interest in business, after I entered the world of work I found I had a real aptitude for management. I take great pride in the development and coaching of others, and through my involvement in various sports I really enjoy working as part of a team. I’m a confident person and combining all of these attributes made me think team leadership is the right arena for me to be in.

What does your day to day job involve?

I manage the Keystone Lintels Contract Sales team. We are responsible for the management of ongoing quotations within the business, provide support to the External Sales Team and support senior leadership in an administrative capacity. My main role is to coach and develop the team in a sales environment to provide an efficient support system for the External Sales Team, analyse sales performance and assisting the Commercial Manager with presentations and board-level analysis.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

I chose to develop my career with the Keystone Group as I wanted to be in an environment where I feel I am supported in my role as well as being pushed to be the best version of myself in whatever I am doing. From my first interview with the company until right now, the ambition and drive to continuously improve, in all aspects of the company, has been evident to me.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

As cliché as it sounds, the part of my role is being with my team. I enjoy being involved in people’s growth and progression, professionally and personally, and take real pride when my team achieve. I’m a very sociable person, and as such I love talking to my team and doing my best to keep morale sky high at all times. There’s a great camaraderie amongst the team, and I like to ensure that we keep that at the centre of all that we do (usually, the jokes are at my expense!).

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

This is a great company to work for if you are ambitious, driven and want to jump into your work with both feet. The Keystone Group is full of people who are experts in their own fields, only too keen to pass on their knowledge for the greater good of the group and everybody wants to see all around them succeed. If you enjoy being part of something that is genuinely united, this is a great place to work.

What do you enjoy doing outside of Keystone?

The team grill me all the time about being a ‘lad’ outside of work, and I fit all the stereotypes. I play a lot of football, I spend a lot of time with my friends, and the vast majority of my salary is spent on food and drink. When I’m on my own, I’ll be on the Playstation, full committed to a series on Netflix, or watching any football game that is broadcasted.

Eoghan McCormick
Structural Engineer,
Keystone Lintels

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

I’ve been interested in engineering from a young age. In movies, books and magazines I would always see engineering and architectural marvels used as impressive features and backdrops; classic wonders like the Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China and modern structures like the Burj al Arab in Dubai, the Golden Gate Bridge and even the London Eye. I was intrigued by these structures and wondered how they got there? How were they built? How do they stand up? (Or not fall down!). I knew I wanted to work in an industry where ideas were sketched out and developed to create something real and physical. I decided to go to university to learn about the way buildings and structures are designed and built and pursue a career in Civil & Structural Engineering.

What does your day to day job involve?

I joined the Keystone Group at the beginning of April 2018 and work within the technical office as a structural engineer. I am involved with the design of structural steel frames and elements which help to make up various parts of new buildings and extensions to existing structures. On a day to day basis I am usually sketching out steelwork details either by hand or using AutoCAD. I always have a calculator to hand to help solve mathematical problems or to test different design solutions. Sometimes I am required to meet with contractors and builders on site to take measurements or discuss construction issues.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

I choose to develop my career with Keystone because of the fast paced nature of the business. I wanted a role in which I could improve my knowledge of the steel products which I would be designing and at the same time get first-hand experience and exposure to the fabrication and installation processes.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The job involves a lot of collaboration with wider team members ranging from architects, contractors, the sales team and production operatives. It is an enjoyable part of the job to work alongside all of the design team to ensure projects are completed satisfactorily and on time.

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

There is a vibrant atmosphere here at Keystone and a wealth of knowledge and experience. I’m always learning new things and picking up extra skills – a real benefit to working here.

What do you enjoy doing outside of Keystone?

Outside of work I like to relax by going walking to woodlands or the beach with my dogs. I take my camera along with me to practice my photography skills. I also enjoy baking, especially around Christmas time.

Eloise Redfern
Sales Team Leader,
Keylite Roof Windows

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

At school, from the very beginning, I had my heart set on being a Lawyer. Every subject I chose was because I’d read up somewhere that it would be beneficial to have on my CV to go into Law. For some crazy reason, I did 5 A levels at 6th form and I survived whilst juggling two part time jobs! Maths, English, Law, History and Psychology. With the grades that I worked tirelessly for, I did manage to win a scholarship to the University of Leeds Law School. Whilst I absolutely loved the university lifestyle, I realised quite quickly that I no longer had a passion for the subject I had chosen to pursue. I found myself sitting in lectures wishing my time away. As a result, I made the very difficult (and expensive) decision to quit.

As a result of this, I was in a bit of a rut! Never had I worked a full time before and I had no idea where to begin. An agency found me however, and soon enough I was having my first ever proper job interview. Very scary for a 19 year old in a board room. Irrespective, I got the job and started soon after. The team, at this time, was tiny! In total, calls probably amounted to 100 per day. To put into perspective, my team now take 500 on a day to day basis. We also only had two people processing orders – now we have a team of 9/10!
Over the three years I’ve been here at Keylite, I have been truly overwhelmed in the most positive way possible, about how fast paced we are as a company and how we’re always evolving; it’s exciting to be a part of! In the future, I want to play an even bigger part in our development. Sales Director maybe?!

What does your day to day job involve?

My job as Team Leader for the Internal Sales Support Team is extremely varied and I love it. I have always enjoyed mentoring others so this is the perfect fit. I am there to offer support to my team, help them organise their day, assist with any queries and manage how best we can approach certain tasks. From processing complex orders, taking phone calls that vary from a simple price to a long winded conversation regarding specification, offering solutions to issues; I get involved in absolutely anything. I would never expect anyone to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself; and I think it is important that I show this as a leader and line manager so that I am as transparent as possible. For me also, I love to engender a happy working atmosphere, I hold weekly team meetings, run competitions and love a good quiz as well as sharing my technical fact of the week to everyone at Keylite.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

For me personally, when I began at Keylite, I had no idea that this would be where I would choose to develop and hone my skills, transpiring into a long term career. The biggest factor in opting to stay here, as always and will always be, the people and Management. From the outset, there has been no hierarchy. Anyone is approachable and that is something I appreciate greatly; everyone is interested in what you have to say as you’re an integral part of the business, no matter your role. Moreover, Keylite are keen to invest in your future! I am currently completing a Level 5 ILM course at college part time in Business and Leadership and have also taken part in many training sessions that bolster my skill set, helping me to be the best that I can be. I am 22, and line managing a fantastic team; with Keylite’s help, belief and support, I hope to go even further! I want to be able to help and support as many people as I can to help them in their careers also. There is nothing better than seeing someone do well for themselves!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love coming into something new each day. I have never been someone to shy away from a challenge, so Keylite is the perfect place. Each day, you learn something new; whether that be a better way of resolving a query or a technical fact regarding one of our products. Furthermore, I think my team are great! In the recruitment process, I will always look out for personalities and my team is full of them! We all know how to get our job done but also have fun along the way. It makes a bad day (sometimes they’re inevitable) far better, when you’re surrounded by a group of people that you enjoy the company of.

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

Go for it! I would put my money on this being one of the most friendly and positive work places that you could have the pleasure of working in! Also, you have to be prepared to work hard…but it’s very rewarding. You can find me on LinkedIn with a cliché motto of ‘Work Hard. Don’t just dream of success’, but it’s something that I do stand by resolutely.

What do you enjoy doing outside of Keystone?

I love going to new places. Last year I had 3 weeks off and went interailing around Europe and this year, I went travelling around Bali. I like to meet new people and stay in hostels when I am away. Moreover, I love going out with my friends who now live in cities all over having gone to uni, and am big advocate of a pornstar martini. I would love to say that I go to the gym, but sadly, my gym membership for a year cost me £25 a month and I went twice. I’m definitely more committed to the Keylite dream than I am to the treadmill.

Lee Frazer
R & D Engineer,
Keylite Roof Windows

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

Growing up I always enjoyed building and designing things. It started off with Lego and different toys in primary school. In secondary school I enjoyed studying technology and design and I really got a taste for it. It was here that I started to use SolidWorks and other CAD/CNC based programs for the first time which I found enjoyable, going from drawing something on a screen to actually producing it.
At A-Level I studied Technology and Design, ICT and Engineering. T.D. and ICT were two of the subjects I enjoyed most through school, and then Engineering because it would help me progress further along the career path I wanted to follow. When I was young I was very much interested in sports! I still am today however I was also interested in building and creating various different things. My school didn’t do P.E. at A-Level so when it came to the crunch this also helped me choose which career path to follow. After school I then went on to Queens University, Belfast where I studied Product Design Engineering and I joined the Keystone Group over two years ago.

What does your day to day job involve?

On a day to day basis I can be doing anything from designing new products or parts for products to prototyping designs and testing existing product or prototypes for new products. I am also in contact with the teams in China and Poland on a daily basis regarding the manufacturing and assembly of parts and products.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

During my university course, I had the opportunity to do a placement year with a company to gain some work experience before finishing my degree. Luckily I applied to the Keystone Group, got an interview and got offered the placement year at Keylite Roof Windows. I really enjoyed my placement year at Keylite, I stayed in touch with the team throughout my final year at university and got offered the opportunity to come back to the Keylite team whenever I finished my degree.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the daily challenges that my job present and how it’s always changing! You encounter problems with designs, etc. and trying to think of ways to fix these. Then once you finish a project it’s on to the next one which could be completely different from what you have just finished.

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

I would tell them that working at the Keystone Group is good fun, challenging but enjoyable and everyone you work with helps to make it the place it is.

What do you enjoy doing outside of Keystone?

I really enjoy playing sports. I play for a local football team Mountjoy United FC, who I’ve been playing with since I was 7 years old and would be a regular in the first team which plays in the Fermanagh and Western Division 1. I also enjoy general socialising with friends and would be a bit of a movie/TV show fanatic.

Steven Arrell
Technical Engineer,
Keylite Roof Windows

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

I decided to study engineering and ICT as I’ve always had an interest in new technology. I knew I wanted to develop a career that involved working with computers and looking out for new technologies so when I saw this role with the Keystone Group I thought it would be a good fit for me. I really enjoy my work here at Keylite, every day is different in the work place which makes it a fun place to work as well as giving me the opportunity to gain more experience and learn new skills.

What does your day to day job involve?

The most important part of my job is sales order processing. This involves placing orders for all Keylite products throughout Northern Ireland. I work closely with the rest of the team to ensure that the products go out on time and also to the correct location to make sure we meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

I wanted to work with a company where there are plenty of opportunities for growth and development so I thought the Keystone Group would be a good fit. I have really enjoyed my time working at Keylite and the job role provides me with a great range opportunities.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

There are many things I enjoy about my job. The best aspect would be the people – working and communicating with customers and also working everyday with the Keylite team.

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

If someone was considering joining the Keystone Group, I would advise them to look no further and to give it a go. The Keystone Group is a great and caring company to work for with great opportunities to develop your career.

What do you enjoy doing outside of Keystone?

I enjoy playing football outside of work and play for the local Cookstown Youth team. I also enjoy coaching football and I am currently a coach for an under 14’s team.

Stephen Madden
Technical Detailer,
IG Masonry Support

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

I always had an interest in design, in its simplest form, when I was younger. Playing with the usual Lego and Mecano sets (toys from a by gone era). Coming up with new things to build and following the drawing instructions.
I studied Engineering at the Northern Regional College in Magherafelt and during my first year I decided to undertake a City and Guilds Diploma in Computer Aided Design as well. At the time, it was a “string to the bow” addition to my Engineering National Diploma, but I carried on using and applying my skills with the program through my time at the NRC and into University. I secured a placement as a Technical Detailer in my third year studying Environmental Engineering and knew it was a role I wanted to pursue after I graduated and decided to join the Keystone Group a year ago.

What does your day to day job involve?

As the name would suggest, it’s involves a lot of detailing. Between AutoCAD and Solidworks I’m tasked with detailing approval drawings for client sign off, right through to production drawings for the factory.
My role doesn’t just involve drawing, as a Technical Detailer I take on a certain degree of project management along the way. I have to make sure all my projects are running on time and are up to date by liaising with site and design teams making sure a high quality product is delivered to site correctly and on time.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

Having been involved in building envelope detailing for several years I chose to develop my career at Keystone and more specifically IG Masonry Support, as it was an area I didn’t know much about and wanted a challenge.
Structure and stability in a workplace was another major factor, Keystone being such a well-established company with a solid foundation along with IG and its innovation in the field of masonry support and brick slip product, was an attractive combination to me.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the challenge of working in a new area of construction, so I’m always learning and enthused. The people make it as well, everyone is here to help and nothing is too much trouble to anyone.
The best part of my job though is seeing a job well done. Knowing that you have helped deliver on a major or minor in comparison, project creates a great sense of achievement. The feeling when you’ve been working with a client, whether it be the largest construction firm in the country or a man in the van and getting those finished pictures through with a “thank you” on a job well done, is hard to beat.

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

What are you waiting for? It’s the ideal place to work whether you are a graduate or an experienced worker. You will be surrounded by people who only want to see you succeed and will help you every step of the way. You will benefit from years, even decades, of experience in a company that has your best interest at its core.

What do you enjoy doing outside of Keystone?

Outside of office hours I enjoy nothing more than grabbing my surfboard and heading North or West to surf some of the best waves in Europe, maybe even the world. There’s no greater feeling or way to unwind than surfing a wave. I’d DEFINTELY recommend it! I also like getting out on my mountain bike when the water’s flat and putting myself through the misery of pedalling up a hill. At the end the a gruelling ascent there’s always the rush of going back down again!

Blessmore Ncube
Graduate,
Smartroof

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

I studied Engineering at University, one of the main modules was design, which l believe sparked my desire to solve problems. I studied Product Design at Manchester Metropolitan University after graduating decided to pursue a career in engineering. I have been with the Keystone Group for a year and am really enjoying it.

What does your day to day job involve?

I’m currently based in Smartroof for the next few months, my day to day involves quality control ensuring all drawings sent to the production department are up to a good standard. I also keep track of material order and place order for any additional materials required for roofs.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

I decided to develop my career with the Keystone Group as I wanted to be challenged, every project I work on gives me the opportunity to further develop my skills and knowledge. Every project is different and as a designer I take great pride in facing new challenges and coming up with solutions.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I have gained experience working across a range of teams within the Keystone Group and the thing I enjoy most about my job is the people I work with and the teams l have been involved in. The way everyone helps and supports each other at the Keystone Group makes me feel right at home.

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

The Keystone Group gives you opportunities to develop and learn which makes it a great place to expand your knowledge and grow your skill set so I would definitely recommend joining the team at the Keystone Group.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and playing football and squash. I have always been involved with various sports from early age so I also enjoy playing football and tennis.

Karan Sodhi
Commercial Graduate,
Keystone Group

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

Through my A-Levels (Geography, Psychology and Business Studies) and simultaneous work experiences, I realised the passion I developed for commerce and building influential relationships with people. As a result, I chose to study Management Studies at the University of Leicester. Here, through a series of organisational studies modules, I gained further insight into the realms of management.

Why did you choose to join the Keystone Group Graduate Programme?

As a consequence of my chosen path of business management, coupled with my work experiences in family oriented businesses, I chose the privately owned Keystone Group. Additionally, the ethos of innovation struck a cord with my own personal values, whereby I see continual advancement to create exceptional opportunities for society as a whole.

What do you enjoy most about working at the Keystone Group?

Spending a considerable amount of time throughout the various parts of the organisation, I have interacted with colleagues who strive to create a fun and energising atmosphere, which is reflected in the outstanding quality of products and service.

What would you say to someone considering joining the Keystone Group Graduate Programme?

Being a part of the Graduate Programme at the Keystone Group, you will have the opportunity to shape the future of the organisation. This opportunity is invaluable in developing fresh ideas and growing the group to extraordinary heights. As part of my Keystone experience, I was involved in the Brexit risk analysis for the Keylite Roof Windows brand, which understandably had immense importance for the global operations.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I am a massive car enthusiast and enjoy driving experience days. In addition, I relish the opportunity to experience and immerse myself into cultures across the globe!

Harry Boxholme
Fabrication and Welding Apprentice,
IG Masonry Support

What does your apprenticeship involve and what are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

My apprenticeship involves fabrication and welding. The big benefit of doing an apprenticeship is you learn new skills while you are earning money. Also at the end of the apprenticeship you gain a qualification which can lead to a full time job.

How has your apprenticeship at the Keystone Group helped you?

I’ve developed lots of new skills like how to solve problems and work independently. The experience I’ve gained and the skills I’ve developed of how to weld and fabricate will be a great help to me in the future as I develop my career.

What would you say to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

I would recommend anyone to do an apprenticeship as you are learning and earning at the same time and you come out with a qualification at the end of it all.

Josh Toplis
Fabrication and Welding Apprentice,
IG Masonry Support

What does your apprenticeship involve and what are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

I am a Trainee Fabricator and Welder, I started out by helping out around the production areas and I did a lot of shadowing to learn about the production process. I am now able to get more involved and take on tasks of my own due to my skills developing. Doing an apprenticeship gives you great work experience and the opportunity to earn while you learn as well as gaining a qualification at the end of it.

How has your apprenticeship at the Keystone Group helped you?

I have gained great experience in welding and I now know how to use all the different tools and machines in the production area. I have gained knowledge as I’ve gone on and received training in different areas as I build towards my qualification. I have passed a manual handling course and have my abrasive wheel course coming up.

What would you say to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

If there is an apprenticeship available to you, you should definitely go for it as it opens up career paths specific to you.

Poppy Moses
Business & Admin Apprentice,
Keystone Lintels

What does your apprenticeship involve and what are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

My apprenticeship involves me logging and inputting data into the system, working as part of a team to meet deadlines, printing off drawings and general administrative duties. There are several benefits to doing an apprenticeship such as gaining a qualification whilst working within a company, developing new skills and gaining experience of working within a team.

How has your apprenticeship at the Keystone Group helped you?

My apprenticeship at Keystone has helped me to gain new skills that I can transfer into my job role such as time management, using database software to produce quotations for customers and understanding the importance of maintaining and building strong customer relationships. I have gained experience of working within an office environment and learned about the importance of working efficiently within a team to meet deadlines. I‘ve adapted to my surroundings to respond in a professional manner at all times.

What would you say to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

I would tell them the benefits of doing an apprenticeship and how it is a great opportunity to gain work experience. My apprenticeship has helped me to develop lots of new skills since leaving school.

Nathaniel Hutchings
Performing Manufacturing Operations Apprentice,
Smartroof

How long have you been with the Keystone Group?

17 months

What does your apprenticeship involve and what are the benefits of doing an apprenticeship?

My apprenticeship involves all aspects on construction from a production operative side. This includes everything from general health and safety, operation of tools and equipment e.g. saws, nail guns etc. all the way to reading technical drawings and following set instructions to create a finished product.

How has your apprenticeship at the Keystone Group helped you?

I have developed new skills such as:

  • Reading technical drawings
  • Operating machinery correctly and safely
  • Using battery and mains powered equipment
  • Training on nail gun operation and manual handling

What would you say to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

Go for it! It has helped me to gain new skills and develop ones I already had alongside earning a wage and learning a trade.

Caroline Meredith
General Manager,
IG Lintels

How long have you been part of the team at IG Lintels?

In total 35 years service (I did break service for 5 years to start a family) I left in 1989, then returned to work at IG lintels in 1994.

When did you join IG Lintels and what was your job role?

I joined IG lintels in 1979, my job role was Office Junior in the sales office (now known as Sales Order Processing). Over the years I have also worked in technical admin and credit control. I have also worked with garage doors, access covers and fixings which IG lintels also supplied over the years.

How has your career progressed over the years?

My first role in IG lintels was an Office Junior. I was then promoted to the Sales Office Team Leader which was a new role. I was then later promoted to Customer Service Manager, Commercial Office Manager and then IG Lintels General Manager.

Why did you choose to develop your career with IG Lintels?

I chose to develop my career with IG lintels because I enjoyed the work and found the construction industry very interesting. I found it rewarding working in a customer focused business so when the opportunity to progress became available I put together a long term personal development plan that focused on management roles.

How has IG Lintels changed over the years?

Technology has changed over the years, when I started in 1979 we were just introducing computers, up until then everything was hand written and of course emails and mobile phones didn’t exist. Back then if a GMS wanted to call into the office, they would have to find the nearest telephone box.

It’s hard to imagine now but everyone was allowed to smoke at their desks , my manager use to smoke a pipe in the office, he once set his bin on fire. Women were not allowed to wear trousers and all the Managers and Directors were men. Customer service has improved dramatically over the years, lintel orders are now delivered within days rather than weeks and the lintel range has expanded over the years, now offering a wide range of products to the building industry.

What do you enjoy about working at IG Lintels?

IG Lintels has a collaborative environment where everyone is supportive and friendly. This creates a genuine co-operation, with everyone working towards the same goals which revolves around helping our customers. I enjoy the diversity of my role and being able to support and develop others so they can also progress their careers within the Keystone Group.

Scott Denham
Sales Director,
IG Masonry Support

When did you join the Keystone Group and what was your job role?

I joined the Keystone Group in January 2011 as a GSM covering London.

How has your career progressed over the years?

I’ve been given many opportunities to progress my career within the Keystone Group. During my time as a GSM I was promoted to what was then called “the builder team” in a Key Account role developing new sales in all group companies for key accounts such as Barratt Homes, Crest Nicholson & Taylor Wimpey. My main focus though was on growing business with main contractors & brickwork contractors and building better relationships and opportunities with new or underperforming large accounts. I then had a very brief time as a DSM for Lintels before being given the opportunity to really test myself as National Sales Manager and now as of the start of 2019, Sales Director for IG Masonry Support.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

The research I had done on the company had shown me how quickly Keystone had already grown and the passion was evident in the interviews I had with Mark Reid & Derrick McFarland so this really made the decision very easy at the time, that this would be a good company to grow my career with who were going places.

How has the Keystone Group changed over the years?

Wow massively, when I first joined the company it was to sell Lintels & Keylite Roof Windows. Now each has its own dedicated sales team. There is now nine companies within the group all growing sales and bringing new innovating products to the market. I guess the ethos and passion is still the same, which is great and something we should never loose but the scale now of the group is much, much bigger.

What do you enjoy about working at the Keystone Group?

I love the people I work with who share the same passion and drive as me and I love the products I can talk to builders, architects and engineers about. Having good products to show people and come up with solutions for them makes the job really interesting & enjoyable.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I like to keep fit, so play Tennis and Badminton as much as possible. I’ve just started to learn to play the guitar and of course when I’m not working spend quality time with my wife and two energetic children.

Michelle Langford
Financial Services Manager,
IG Lintels

How long have you being part of the team at IG Lintels?

17 years

When did you join IG Lintels and what was your job role?

I started in July 2002 straight from college and I worked in Sales Order Processing (SOP) putting customer orders on the system and calculating merchant claim backs.
How has your career progressed over the years? I worked my way up from being part of the SOP team to being the rebate controller, albeit of a much smaller customer base at the time. When IG Lintels joined the Keystone Group, it gave me the opportunity to become the controller for the lintel group and start my own team of 2 people.

I trained in accounting to ensure my skills were up to the challenge of handling the ever growing sales figures and also studied leadership & management that allowed me to develop as the team and responsibilities grew. Fast forward 13 years and I run the Financial Services Department with a team of 8 who are a core function of the lintel group.

Why did you choose to develop your career with IG Lintels?

Opportunities have been available to better my skills at every stage of my career. They are a supportive company who acknowledge hard work and will invest in their employees to help them reach full potential. It has always been an exciting and fast paced environment to work in so 17 years might seem like a long time but in reality it has gone extremely fast! I am grateful to have been able to pay it forward and have written and delivered a Management Development Programme to a team of rising stars within the company, many of them starting out in the same way I did.

How has IG Lintels changed over the years?

IG has gone from strength to strength while I have been here whether that has been innovation in the products or the quality of our service.

What do you enjoy about working at IG Lintels?

Every day is like working with family who are all passionate about the success of the company. Because we focus on employee skills and not just their job titles we recognise strengths in the individuals and allow them to grow and develop where they are best suited in the company. Employees are not just a workforce at IG but rather a team of people whose opinion matters and whose engagement is paramount.

Charlotte Armstrong
Area Sales Manager,
Keystone Lintels

Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?

I really fell into construction rather than choosing it specifically. Following applying for a graduate role for a well known roofing manufacturer when I graduated, I have settled in the construction industry and sales and relationship building is a natural role for me. I studied Ancient History at Durham University and have always had an interest in ancient cultures & literature (not exactly a direct correlation into sales or construction I know!). My career at Keystone is relatively short so far, having worked in the Northern Sales Team for just over a year & half now.

What does your day to day job involve?

Working in the Northern Sales team and managing the North East region is nothing if not varied on a day to day basis. I’m responsible for the overall account management and sales for all IG and Keystone accounts as well as managing and targeting new business and developers in the area. This could see me on a building site discussing technicalities with builders, attending a trade event for a merchant or have me presenting CPD’s and putting forward the benefits to using our Hi-therm+ lintels vs standard lintels. This is all done in conjunction with our internal sales team and working alongside them to ensure we secure as much business as possible on the patch.

Why did you choose to develop your career with the Keystone Group?

The Keystone Group offered a platform for a Sales Manager to come in and truly manage their area on a day to day basis – to actually make decisions and be responsible for how successful my area is.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people. Although there can be bad days (everyone has them!) I know I have a great bunch of customers and a truly fantastic internal support team who process orders and create schedules etc. meaning we are a truly formidable force to our competition.

What would you say to someone considering joining the team at the Keystone Group?

I’d say go for it – I haven’t looked back! As long as you are willing to work hard you will be rewarded and recognized for the success you have.

What do you enjoy doing outside of Keystone?

Having just bought a house and getting myself on the property ladder a lot of my current spare time is taken up with odd jobs/painting (exciting!). Although I also enjoy travelling and most of my spare time is occupied by my two pet dogs – Monty & Milo.

1000+
Employees

The Keystone Group includes 6 brands across 4 locations with over 1,000 employees, all united by a shared passion for innovation and delivering exceptional customer service. At the Keystone Group we are constantly challenging the norm and finding new ways of doing things, this has driven us to become the UK and Ireland’s largest manufacturer of steel lintels and Europe’s fastest growing manufacturer of roof windows.
Our mission is to create smart construction solutions beyond equal.