As part of EMEC's takeover of our social media, we hear from John Skuse who tells us about his job as Operations and Maintenance Manager and the journey he took to get there.
John started his career with a summer job in a maintenance department, that turned into a permanent role when he left school. By his own admission, he didn’t do well in school as he was more interested in taking things apart and putting them back together. However, he has gained qualifications alongside working through day release and night school. Experience has also helped him to develop some key employability skills such as team work, communication and management skills.
Can you describe a typical day in your job?
Work changes every day and sometimes by the minute. The big picture is to keep all of our sites safe and operational, this needs long term planning. I get to work with a wide selection of people with all different skills and backgrounds. The work never really stops as the sites are open 24/7, this is something that will always be the case in operations role. Because what we do is run test sites each project is different which means that life is not boring.
How did you end up in this role?
I didn’t do too well at school because I was more interested in taking things apart and fixing them than studying. However, I had to catch up with my study work later in life, which wasn’t easy, but I did it.
I started with a summer job in a maintenance department which turned into a training job when I left college. I then worked my way up gathering experience in different roles and learning to work with and manage people. Now I have the best of both worlds I still get involved working with kit, but also I am able to work with people and help encourage and develop other engineers. Oh yes, and help solve the climate crisis!
What is the best thing about your job?
Getting things to work.
What is the worst thing about your job?
Projects having to stop before they have reached full potential.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
Good engineering understanding.
Pragmatic approach to problem solving.
Being able to communicate with people across the board.
The ability to do many jobs at one time.
Must be flexible in approach to work.
What qualifications do you have?
ONC Mechanical Engineering, I Left school early and went to college.
HNC Engineering through day release while working
BEng Hons through day release and night school while working.
Lots of other engineering and safety short courses all completed while working.
Would you recommend this job to young people, if so why?
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