Friday, March 18, 2022

From apprentice to group director and business owner - this is Ross' story

Claire Short, Marketing Manager

In support of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Ross Docherty, Group Director & Owner of BESA member Protech Heating Group shared with us his apprenticeship story...


How long have you worked in the building engineering services industry?  

30 Years


How did you get into the building engineering services industry?

I passed a “BEST” Exam whilst I was in full time education and through them I was offered an apprenticeship at a local Heating & Ventilating firm.


What does a typical working day involve?

Every day is different, but I primarily deal with the commercial development of all the trading divisions and provide technical expertise.


What is the best aspect of your job?

As I come from an engineering background, I enjoy the technical aspects, but also equally enjoy my people interactions within and outside the business.


What do you find most challenging about your role and the industry?

The most challenging part is knowing your audience, I work hard on my communication skills and try to ensure that I represent myself and our industry in the best way possible. Our industry is multi-faceted and brings us in to contact with many different people/organisations from many different fields and skill sets, so bespoke engagement is key.


Where is the best place in the world you have visited through your job?

I guess that would be the middle east, Qatar in particular was amazing as I got to see first hand the impact our industry and in a small part myself made to the radical development of these countries.


What surprises other people the most about your job?

Tricky question, but a number of people have commented on the number of dissimilar roles I sometimes fulfil across the business, but I believe this is pretty common within my peer group. They are sometimes surprised at the items I get directly involved in, but for me if I can offer support that gives an improved outcome then I will always gladly give it.


Are there any high-profile projects that you/your company have worked on that you are proud of or would like to mention?

There are several, but I suppose it would be remiss, not to mention our decarbonisation projects at BP UK Headquarters & Holborn Bars London Burner Retrofit, for which we recently won prestigious UK industry awards.


What is your greatest achievement to date?

From a career point of view, it must be the development these past 15 years of the Protech Group alongside my other founding partners Ian Mackinnon & Tony Reilly. I rarely have time to reflect on what we have done to date but I humbly think it is a shining example of what can be achieved within our industry.


What advice would you give someone looking to do an apprenticeship or a career change in our industry?

First you would be entering at an exciting & transformational time for this industry. Sustainability is of vital importance for our entire planet & our industry will be a key element in its success. As I mentioned earlier our industry interacts with many other industries so the career paths available are vast and diverse. I would advise researching our sector & if you believe this is the career for you contact your local BESA office and start your journey.


Protech Group Ltd was established in 2008, by Ross, Ian Mackinnon & Tony Reilly who were also successful in being offered an apprenticeships through “BEST” at the same time. The group is compiled of three trading divisions (Protech Heating, Protech Water & Protech Renewables).

They have a wide and varied client base across the UK and offer full HVAC services.

Find out more here.


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