IN CONVERSATION WITH...
Ten minutes with… Jack Finley
This month, Jack Finley, area technical manager (roof refurbishment) at Sika, talks to RCI about how he joined
the company as an apprentice at the age of 18, and having only turned 21 earlier this year, has become the
youngest ever area technical manager in roofing for the manufacturer
How did you first get started in
After my ‘A’ levels, I decided I wanted
to go down an apprenticeship route, so I
attended an apprenticeship expo to see
what options were out there.
I had no specific career goals in mind,
so roofing wasn’t a burning ambition; it
was really the opportunity of working for
Sika that attracted me to the role.
It was clear that Sika would be an
environment where I could really learn
and have an opportunity to progress.
That’s exactly what’s happened, and
quite a lot sooner than anticipated too! I
began as a technical apprentice on Sika’s
liquid applied membranes team and, less
than three years later, I’ve recently been
promoted to technical manager for roof
What roles were you doing
before and how did they
prepare you for the roles you’re
I started as a technical apprentice and
was promoted to trainee technical advisor
within a year, and then to
technical advisor a few
months after that.
My new area
technical manager role
came up as a result of
my predecessor being
promoted, and all the
work I’ve done and the
knowledge I’ve gained means
that I have really good product and
market understanding that will be very
useful in my new role.
I’ll have sales training to support the
transition and I’m really looking forward
to meeting customers and getting out onsite.
I’ll also be mentored by Sam Kidd,
who was the area technical manager
responsible for my patch before me,
because he’s now my line manager.
What is your current role and
what does it entail?
As area technical manager for Sika’s
roof refurbishment offering in
Lancashire and Cumbria,
my role is both sales and
I engage with
architects, to help
them specify the most
appropriate roof build up
from Sika’s portfolio of
liquid, bitumen and singleply
I’m then responsible for
compiling a full technical
specification, based on
a condition survey of
the roof, along with the
required performance of
the roof refurbishment and
any buildability factors that
need to be considered.
What has been the
highlight of your career
One of the biggest highlights
has been seeing an idea for
a digital site survey tool
go from a concept I created
with a colleague, through the
development process, to site trials
and then full deployment. It’s really
rewarding working in an environment
where you’re given the freedom to put
What do you believe are
the biggest issues for
roofing contractors and the
construction industry at the
Obviously, following the COVID-19
pandemic, there are concerns about the
financial impact of lockdown and what
this will mean for future work pipelines.
However, roof refurbishment projects
are often business critical so, as the
lockdown eases, I’m hopeful that the
sector will recover quite quickly.
What advice would you give to
those thinking about joining
the roofing sector?
I had no idea before I started working for
Sika just how diverse the roofing sector is.
I can only speak from my own experience
but, after less than three years, I’m
already on a completely different career
path from my original role.
My advice would be to soak up as
much knowledge and experience as you
can, and be proactive in getting involved
in areas that interest you, so that you’re
well-equipped to seize any opportunity
that comes your way.
What is your tipple of choice at
Whiskey and coke
What is your favourite book
I’d recommend The Game, a thriller
starring Michael Douglas, or I’m a big fan
of the Avengers/Marvel series, so any of
those is a go-to movie for me.
Any claims to fame?
No claims to actual fame, but I’m the
youngest ever area technical manager in
roofing for Sika.
Jack Finley is
“I had no idea
before I started
working for Sika
just how diverse
sector is. After
less than three
years, I’m already
on a completely
path from my
52 www.rcimag.co.uk June 2020