Why John Massey swapped life in the sky for life on the ground

John Massey has been in the construction industry for over 20 years. Having worked on a number of illustrious projects, John has had a wide variety of roles within the industry.

Starting out as a labourer before going on to learn various trades within the industry, John made the move to lifting in the mid 2000’s. After a number of years slinging, John acquired his Crane Operator ticket. It was here that John spent the majority of his career, and went on to operate the cranes for 12 years.

It was during this time that John shared a crane cab with Steve Leyton, now Head of Keltbray Lifting Services. As time went on, the pair eventually parted ways. John continued to man his cab in the sky whilst Steve went onto build and develop the lifting team at Keltbray. It was watching Steve’s career develop over the years that inspired John to one day decide to climb down the crane ladder once and for all.

“When I climbed down the ladder, I knew that I would have to take a step back in order to move forward, and that’s what I did.

I put the orange hat on and I went back to slinging for the lifting division. Within two weeks, I received the call to go to the stores and pick up my supervisor hat.

Within six months of being at Keltbray I had become a site supervisor, made the move to structures and started working on some of Keltbray’s biggest projects to date.

Looking back on my career, joining Keltbray was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Since we last spoke with John, Steve Barber, Keltbray Structures Construction Director, and Keltbray Training have agreed to put John through the training he needs to reach his career aspirations. John must complete two NVQs, funded by Keltbray, before making a start on his Senior Management Diploma. In the meantime, John will continue to shoulder his construction management responsibilities whilst working closely with the senior construction team.

For those interested in starting a career in construction, please visit Keltbray’s foundation Pre-Employment Programme, delivered in collaboration with Transport for London. The scheme offers applicants the opportunity to obtain the skills, knowledge and qualifications required to start a career in the construction industry.

John’s advice for anyone thinking of starting a career in construction: Try your hand at everything and take an interest in everyone.


Watch the full interview with John here.