Jake Woods

In this feature, we highlight the difference that our Optimisation & Planning Manager, Jake Woods, has made during his career at px Group. Jake’s talent and ability has not gone unnoticed. His tenacity, creative solution-driven problem solving, and effective communication across all levels of the business are just some of the reasons he has been fast-tracked from the graduate team to the leadership team at Saltend in just three years.

Jake Woods: 

Jake’s outstanding ability was first noticed when he joined the graduate scheme at the Saltend Chemicals Park, which was owned by BP at the time. In this position, Jake instigated numerous production plant efficiency savings as a Graduate Engineer and was managing multiple concurrent capital investment projects totalling £4 million after just 18 months in the role.

After just two years (three years earlier than the site norm) Jake was promoted to Asset Mechanical Engineer, responsible for all logistics and utilities at Saltend, making him one of the youngest Asset Engineers the park has ever had. 

Not only was Jake responsible for the safe, efficient and reliable operation of 4500+ equipment items on site, but he also oversaw the £1.08 million maintenance budget, which he successfully managed using a variety of new techniques to bring a historically overspent budget back under control.

Following the sale of the Saltend Chemicals Park to px Group in 2018, Jake was again promoted to become an essential member of the site’s leadership team, becoming  responsible for the entire Mechanical Engineering team on site, as well as an additional 4000 equipment items and safety systems. 

Along the way, Jake has come to deeply understand and play a key role in numerous parts of the business at px Group. Even with his considerable responsibilities, he has found time to develop new solutions. In the background, Jake was working on a combined workflow review process and innovative visualisation system and he was encouraged to pitch his idea to management, who saw it fit to take it on board; this idea has not only become a commercially viable program, but it’s also expanded to the point of being a core aspect of px Group’s digital solutions offering, with Jake leading the way.

Jake is now responsible for implementing his digital solution to the rest of the company and our clients.

px Group Ethos

Jake’s brilliant career progression is testament to the inclusive, talent-fostering environment that we encourage on a daily basis. Jake himself is proof that great talent can make a great difference, but only if it’s recognised. 

At px Group, we believe that extraordinary talent needs to be rewarded and supported. Upon promoting Jake to the Optimisation and Planning Manager role, we also nominated him for a development program that encompasses 30 hours of training across three streams including communications, leadership, and coaching, so that he felt prepared and supported to take on the additional responsibilities.  

Jake Woods, Optimisation and Planning Manager, “I never thought that a graduate scheme would lead to what has certainly been a whirlwind ride. px Group has provided me with ample amount of freedom and has given me a chance to grow, not just in my day job, but also explore my other passions, namely technology.”

“I think, as a company, we’re not bogged down by rigid, hierarchical structures that have the tendency to stifle new solutions, creativity and ambitions. I’ve certainly benefited from that at px Group – I know my managers will always take the time to listen to a well-supported idea.”

Jay Brooks, Site Director for the Saltend Chemicals Park comments: “Jake’s a rising star and in many ways exemplifies what happens when you invest in your people. We believe in championing good ideas and actively fostering an open environment where our people can have the confidence to come up with new and creative solutions that can enhance the quality and services that we deliver. By the same token, we believe our outstanding people deserve to be recognised for the incredible work they do, no matter which career stage they’re in.”

px Group’s focus on talent allows us to recognise Jake’s ability to consistently achieve exceptional standards and exceed expectations, which may have gone unnoticed in other businesses. We’ve really enjoyed supporting Jake’s swift career progression, and we wish him all the best in his development in the Top 30 Under 30 nomination.

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