AG’s alex longridge talks to specify magazine
Our Commercial Sales Manager Ireland, Alex Longridge talks to Specify magazine about his career at AG and his hidden passion, vintage cars!
Q: Did you plan to get involved in the construction industry?
No, throughout school my parents had planned for me to follow a career in banking. Despite their best efforts, I chose another path. Got to say it’s a decision I’ve never regretted. Construction as a sector has been through a lot of ups and downs in my lifetime, but it’s great to see the steady resurgence post-recession.
Q: How did you start off?
My first sales role was with Xerox where I learnt the basic truths of sales; that people buy from people and that building trust with your customers is vital.
Q: What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Developing into my role as a leader within AG and being able to share my knowledge and experience with an ever increasing field sales team. It’s been terrific to see AG thrive, especially in recent years, to become a company known throughout the industry for its innovation, quality and focus on strong working relationships.
Q: What was the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Be honest, moral, decent and above all trustworthy. These are values I have sought to portray myself and instil in others around me.
Q: What would you say to any students who are considering a career in construction?
Get in there! Construction is a fast-paced, rapidly evolving sector that is crying out for top young talent, whether that be as engineers, architects, quantity surveyors, tradesmen or any one of the wide range of roles in manufacturing companies like ours. As a result of the recession, the industry has been robbed of a lot of its young people so it’s really important we re-establish a pipeline of young talent so companies can address the acute skills’ gaps and create true succession plans. At AG we have launched our own training and development programme for people at all levels of the business. For us, it is all about building careers and helping our people do that.
Q: Do you think the construction sector needs more support from Stormont?
As a major source of employment within Northern Ireland, it’s vital the construction sector receives all the support it can get. It’s encouraging to know that we have a number of industry bodies who meet with Assembly members and Ministers on a regular case to keep the needs of the construction sector front of mind.
Q: What needs to be done to help the NI construction sector?
Stormont needs to unlock funding to meet the deficit we have in housing as well as finding the necessary capital to fund much-needed infrastructure projects all of which will help create employment opportunities for the sector. Ongoing monetary support for training and employment incentives is also vital.
Q: Tell us something surprising about yourself…
I love vintage cars. My dream classic car would be the Porsche 917K that Steve McQueen had in the film, Le Mans. On the speeds at which he was driving the 917 Steve told journalist John Skow: “It’s capable of 240 – but I don’t take it up to full chat. Most times I’m hitting 225 or so.” Great actor, fabulous car.
You can find out more about working at AG by visiting Our Company page.