Twenty years of service – playing the long game

Wythenshawe-born Paul McKeown took a gamble two decades ago when he left a job at Manchester Airport to join a start-up business set up to maintain Manchester’s newly developed commercial properties in the regeneration following the 1996 bomb in the city. Paul carries out high-level specialist cleaning via rope access and abseiling to Manchester’s tallest buildings. 

 In 1998, he joined Niel Bethell in a previous incarnation of the business which is now NSS Group. As Paul celebrates his 20th year of working for the group – which is now one of the largest facilities management services companies in the UK, he comments:

“Back in the day, there was only four of us and my first job was cleaning the M&S in town. It was exciting but I couldn’t have imagined how much the business would transform over the next 20 years. The city and region has totally changed – and I’ve seen it all. On day one, our CEO Niel – not that he called himself CEO then! – could write all of our jobs on one sheet on his clipboard. No chance of that now as there’s hundreds of us out working every day across the country. 

“I suppose it is unusual these days to stay in one job for so many years but I’ve been so well looked after that I’ve never had a reason to leave. The group of lads I get to work with are brilliant and even as we’ve grown, everyone looks out for each other. Now that we’re part of a much bigger business, there’s a feeling of real security and knowing you’re playing your part in a success story. I’m grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had.”

NSS Group offers a full range of exterior property maintenance services across the UK and has made a number of acquisitions before it merged earlier this year. 

CEO Niel Bethell added: Paul has consistently been an exemplary member of our team and I couldn’t be more pleased that we’re now celebrating him hitting 20 years. We invest in our culture and people and you hope it pays off, creating a great place to work and making a difference to people’s lives. 

“Once upon a time, 20 years of service would have seen the person presented with a carriage clock for the mantelpiece. To show Paul my personal gratitude, I couldn’t be more pleased to be rewarding his hard work and loyalty with a trip to Las Vegas and wish him luck in the casinos.  I certainly backed the right guy when I hired him in 1998.”

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