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Willem, Jeffrey and Michel Beerens - Project manager, foreman, insulation engineer & NDT engineer

(flnr: Jeffrey, Willem, Michel)

Michel: "I just really like my job. Many friends who have office jobs have to take their work home with them. Then again, I don't like that; let me just walk outside and work with my hands.""

How did you end up at Bilfinger?

Willem: "I started sailing after school and then I went into military service, where I was also mainly on the water with the Engineer Vessel Service. But it was time for more solid ground under my feet. I had a brother who was enjoying himself in scaffolding, so in 1979 I started applying for a job in scaffolding as well. That's how I ended up at Bilfinger (then under a different name). I started as an auxiliary scaffold builder, then they still called it "lugger. Because I was interested in safety and later also in leadership, I was able to do all kinds of courses through Bilfinger, and in the meantime I have advanced to project leader. I also give various training courses and work with other colleagues to set up the 'Training Center Roosendaal', where we train and assess new colleagues."

Jeffrey: "Because of my father, I already knew at the age of ten: 'I'm going into scaffolding.' Even then I thought it was such a beautiful profession in a fantastic and diverse environment in the industry."

"And of course a strong father as a role model," notes Willem with a laugh.

"When I was 17, I wanted to go to work. But I wasn't yet allowed to work for our customers - you have to be at least 18 for that, because of safety regulations. So I started in the warehouse. When I turned 18, I became an assistant scaffolder. And actually it went very fast then. Within 2.5 years I was Working Foreman, and now I'm Working Superintendent in the Northeast region. That's the great thing about Bilfinger. If you are willing and able, you can really achieve something."

Michel: "Well, scaffolding, that wasn't really for me. I actually wanted to be a plasterer, but there was no place available at that school. Then of course my father said: 'Try scaffolding construction', but I preferred something else. I was interested in insulation. So through a short training program I started at Bilfinger as an insulation fitter. Because I wanted some variation, I got the chance to take courses in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and get my IRATA levels for rope access. So currently I am mainly 'hanging in the ropes' performing NDT."

How important do you think teamwork is?

Jeffrey: "You can't really do anything alone. Working together is the key to everything."

Michel: "Within your team, cooperation is very important. You have to be able to depend on each other and have the right people around you."

Willem: "Of course a team is very important. Then you can also teach each other something. I have also paid a lot of attention in my career to training and building a good team. "

Why have you been working at Bilfinger for so long?

Michel: "I just really like my job. Many friends who have office jobs have to take their work home with them. Then again, I don't like that; let me just walk outside and work with my hands."

Willem: "Look; we're just comfortable here. Things are well organized and you can go in any direction if it's in you."

How do you experience the culture at Bilfinger?

Jeffrey: "What I like is that there is an open and honest culture at Bilfinger. Management is close to the shop floor and involved - the COO knows many people on the floor by name, for example. We dare to speak to each other, which is very important, especially for safety. I also see that colleagues give a lot for each other and for the company. A lot of resilience is shown and everyone does their best to do a good job."

Michel: "I don't really have anything to add to that!"

Willem: "What I always find very important; how you come in in the morning, you go home again in the evening. That is, whole, safe and in good health. So safety is always the first priority."

What does the future look like for you guys?

Willem: "Retirement! But honestly, I'd rather keep working, mind you. Who knows, maybe I can keep doing something for Bilfinger during that time."

Jeffrey: "As far as I'm concerned, being a contractor is not my ceiling. Anyway, I would like to become a project manager - and follow in my father's footsteps. I can do that, too, and I'm having conversations about that, too. And who knows what the possibilities are after that. If you have the ambition and can take responsibility, then anything is possible and you can also do all kinds of courses and training to grow further."

Michel: "I'd rather just keep working on the floor, management doesn't appeal to me that much. I am different from my father and brother. I enjoyed doing isolation, and I've been to different locations. It was always very interesting, but I wanted a change. When I mentioned that, I was immediately approached to ask if I wanted to do NDT. And I always found rope access interesting; I really love to see it. So when the opportunity arose to get my levels in that as well, I immediately grabbed it. As long as I can still walk outside and do my thing, I'm fine with it."

Why should new colleagues join Bilfinger?

Michel: "Because of Bilfinger's versatility, it is possible to do other things within the company. You can of course grow into managerial positions, but also join another discipline if you are looking for variation in your work in a different way or want to develop further."

Willem: "Besides the fact that the work is just really nice, all kinds of things are possible at Bilfinger. It's also nice that it's a stable company; you always get your salary on time, for example. And there is open communication. The step between management and employees is very small."

Jeffrey: "I would add that Bilfinger is really seen in the market as one of the best in our field. But we are always open to improvement, of course. With that, everyone is listened to. If you make an effort it is really seen and appreciated. You are given trust and responsibility." 

What are your hobbies?

Jeffrey: "Well besides my work, I'm busy with my family! I have a baby and the second one is on the way! If there is any time left over I like to game."

Willem: "My hobby is working. Really, I just find that the most fun there is."

Michel: "After work and on weekends I like to ride my motorcycle. And gaming, I do that too!"


Did you also get excited about working at Bilfinger after the Beerens family's story? Or do you know someone who also wants to build a great career? 


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