Training apprentices has always been big part of their business philosophy, and NSync’s ten-strong site team currently includes four apprentices: two second-years (their son Kye and his best mate); a third-year and a fourth-year.
‘We think it’s really important to help build good trades and support the future of the industry,’ Melissa says. ‘Chris likes to spend time with them and train them himself to give them the skills they need.’ Chris adds that the apprentices benefit from working alongside NSync’s more experienced carpenters. ‘We’re always putting back into the industry what we’ve got out of it,’ he says.
Fortunately, NSync has been able to keep all staff and apprentices employed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite experiencing a little wobble when NSW lockdowns were first introduced, the business has actually been able to leverage some opportunity out of it.
‘I think because people were stuck at home, working at home, with their kids at home as well, they’d think, “We really need to do this house up”!’
However, Chris is pragmatic about the possibility of further challenges ahead. ‘You’ve got to touch on COVID-19 in the sense that no-one knows when it’s going to end, no-one knows the true impact or the ripple effect of what’s happened this year,’ he says. ‘There’s a lot of unknowns out there.’
An ongoing focus on professional development motivated Chris and Melissa’s decision to join HIA.
‘I heard about all the fantastic webinars and the training opportunities, and wanted to be part of it,’ Melissa explains. ‘HIA is well suited to our business. It’s been fantastic. You’ve got to continue learning and I’m getting that from HIA, 100 per cent.’
Most recently, she completed the HIA GreenSmart course, and says that incorporating these principles into their projects is not only great for the environment but also makes smart business sense. ‘It means we’ll be able to build homes that are more comfortable and liveable in the longer term, which is another way for us to offer value to our clients.’
When asked about their plans for the future, Chris and Melissa return to the topic of family: ‘Our main goal is to have the business solid enough to leave behind for our son Kye,’ Melissa says. ‘We want to be able to give him a business that’s still going strong, and be on hand to help and mentor him as he takes it on. We think, what a gift that would be.’