Together with a friend, he learnt about construction on a farm but it was his father who introduced him to the world of industrial construction. In this article, we present constructive challenger Jonas. After five years of being an edibo assembler, he’s now being promoted to foreman. Just like his father.
From stable to industrial hall
At 26, Jonas has already had quite the career at edibo. It was, however, never his original plan to get into construction.
“I got into college right after high school, but I quickly realised that wasn’t for me. My dad asked me if I wanted to come work at edibo. They were looking for new assemblers, so I took my shot.”
At that time, Jonas didn’t have a lot of building experience. “When I was 18, a friend and I took a summer job at a farm nearby. Together with the farmer, we started building his new stables. That was the first time I ever did anything like that.”
“But I can manage, I quickly pick up what’s happening around me and I learn fast. During that summer job I installed a complete prefab building, I learnt how to tile, you name it.”
“My father isn’t looking over my shoulder”
Under his father’s wings, Jonas quickly acquires the edibo way of working. “In my opinion, the transition to industrial construction went very smoothly. I started in a team of 4, with my dad being second in command and substitute foreman on Fridays. At the beginning, I mainly had to perform small tasks, pay close attention and ask questions.”
“But I quickly felt at home, also thanks to the various training sessions. During this time, my father let me figure things out on my own, even when he officially became foreman a year later. He certainly wasn’t looking over my shoulder. After a year, a couple of colleagues whispered that they would make me foreman too. So, I started watching dad a little more closely (laughs).”
This spring, the first steps towards being foreman were made, with a course for driving license BE and a three-day course “Growing to foreman”, with Constructiv. During that three-day course, emphasis was mainly placed on managing, team coaching and communication. What stuck most with Jonas? “I mainly learnt that it is important to communicate individually with others. Not everyone reacts the same, so you can’t get your message across to everyone in the same way.”
“Enthusiastic about every project”
Does Jonas have a preference with regard to type of projects? “I like all types of projects, to be honest. I enjoy the versatility of the job. One day, we’re fitting steel, then plinths or sandwich panels. The chemical industry is maybe slightly less comfortable because you have to walk around with safety goggles all day, but safety first of course (laughs).”
If you ask Jonas about his favourite project so far, then one project clearly stands out. “De Poort van Mierlo (Mierlo’s Gate), in the Netherlands. We built SME units and office spaces for about four companies there but it was mainly the entrance gate that stuck with me.”
“The gate needed to get a 3D look. We did that by using special folding sheets. We cut and degreased metal sheets – 2mm-thick galvanised steel – on site, had them powder coated, to then fit them around the gate. A very challenging process that is also gorgeous to witness.”
Krachtbal on the weekends
Finally, what challenges does Jonas seek after work hours? “I love playing krachtbal. I learnt of this sport a couple of years ago through a friend – they were looking for someone strong and tall (laughs).”
“It’s a sport that’s mostly known in Northern Limburg, parts of Antwerp and West Flanders. The aim is to get a 4-kg ball in the correct area without the other team catching the ball before it touches the ground. Very tiring but mainly, a lot of fun!