“Working smarter is part of our DNA”

At a young age, Jonathan started working as a welder’s assistant in the metal industry. Years later – and with tons of experience in the world of megastructures – Jonathan de Freitas started as a supervisor at Gpi Tanks XL. As supervisor, he is the first point of contact on the construction site of major tank-building projects. Jonathan about his job: “I think it is important to be personally present on-site, and to not only manage projects from inside the portacabin.”

At this moment in time, Jonathan is supervising the construction of nine 1,500 m3 tanks. As the first point of contact, he has day-to-day interactions with the client, people at the construction site, and the project manager. He monitors construction, safety, equipment and logistics, but also takes care of quality control.

Team Supervisor

From welder to supervisor

Jonathan explains: “I started in the metal industry at a young age because I needed to stand on my own two feet. I had to earn money and the construction sector appealed to me. I soon started as a welder’s assistant.  I would study in the evening and work in construction during the day. Work on pipes, pipe fitter and later shipbuilding.”

After earning his HGCE diploma, Jonathan started his career in the Offshore industry. He proudly continues: “They were large and prestigious projects, which were even filmed for documentaries on the Discovery Channel. Safety played a crucial role in these projects.” He explains how he made the switch from metal worker to manager. I started as team lead and then became the foreman and site manager. With each new position, I became more and more aware that I am not only responsible for planning and objectives, but also for the people on the construction site. I am nothing without my team.”

Jonathan has brought this philosophy with him to Gpi. “I work with various teams at Gpi Tanks XL. Sometimes, we add qualified local workers to our regular pool of employees. When doing so, I only work with people who are dedicated to their job. Safety and planning can never be compromised in any way, because we are responsible for ensuring quality. This is not a job for a quality controller alone. This is something that I constantly remind myself and my team. Every project is an opportunity to further improve performance. This is something we find very important at Gpi. Wanting to work smarter is part of our DNA.”

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

When asked what makes this job so enjoyable, the supervisor does not hesitate for a moment: “Taking pride in my work. As a team we appreciate one another’s work; we respect one another and encourage a sense of ownership in the work that we do. Being able to complete a project, and having the feeling that we all worked together to realise it. I think it is important to express it in that way. This is certainly important for new employees, and you must also be critical in a manner that encourages people to want to improve themselves. That way, you also give them self-confidence, which ultimately leads to the best team results. This is the vibe I’m looking for in the team.”


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