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An Interview with Site Agent, Rogério Mira

Innovatively searching for new ways to bridge the UK’s skills gap, AmcoGiffen were proud to proactively source, train and hire a number of Portuguese engineering and construction experts during the nation’s economic crisis in 2015. Marking his 4th anniversary with AmcoGiffen this year, we were delighted to catch up with our Wessex-based Site Agent, Rogério Mira.

Studying Civil Engineering at the Universidade de Evora, South Portugal, Rogério graduated in 2011 before taking an internship with a national piling company. Joining the research team to work on his master’s thesis, he stayed with the company for 9 months, primarily developing a study related to micropiles performance.

Receiving a job offer from a civils building construction company in 2012, he moved on to become a site manager, overseeing several projects – including building 3 bank agencies. Additionally supervising subcontractors and procurement processes, Rogerio worked in South Portugal for a year, in advance of transferring to Africa to assist with the company’s expansion.

"Moving to Africa was both an exciting and daunting prospect”, he told me, “I was mainly helping the senior team out with projects while they were developing the business, which meant taking responsibility for technical operations. Along with building hospitals, depots, and small maintenance works, I also got my first experience of working in rail! The government were building around 2000 miles of railway and infrastructure to transfer coal from Malawi to Mozambique, and we were one of the subcontractors involved in the job. It was an amazing experience!"

Creating New Roots

After 2 and a half years of working long weeks, Rogerio was ready for a new challenge. Hearing about AmcoGiffen’s potential prospects for engineers in England, he instantly applied, hoping to improve his engineering skills. This also ensured that we would avoid the recession and collapsing job market in his home country.

Originally moving to Barnsley in Spring 2015 for training - following an application and interview process held in Portugal – Rogerio was then transferred to our Highbridge office, working as a site engineer on one of our IP jobs in Swindon. With his experience in rail overseas being ‘completely different’ to the industry in the UK, AmcoGiffen put the 15 Portuguese agents through courses such as Personal Track Safety (PTS), Scaffold Inspector, Confined Space Management, Control of Site Safety (COSS), and Safe Work Leader (SWL).

Rapidly progressing to become a sub-agent, Rogerio was then made a site agent in 2018, before being transferred to our newly instated Basingstoke office. Working on a number of projects on our minor works framework, he is proud to be integral to all our Wessex jobs, including steelwork repairs, rain harvest tanks installation, fuel, oil and coolant pipework installation in Salisbury Traincare Depot, and tunnel and platform gauge works.

A View to the Future

Having worked within multiple countries and industries, I asked Rogerio how he valued his current position – and his answer was both passionate and humble.

"I’ve been very lucky to get to where I am”, he said, “since moving to AmcoGiffen, I’ve been involved in so many interesting and challenging projects – with an amazing team. Everyone treats me with respect, and I only have nice things to say about the company.

‘It’s interesting how life changes – when I was at university in Portugal, I never imagined working on the railway in Western England, but I love it. I’m excited to see what else my future with AmcoGiffen holds."

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