Jo | Future Made



ProfessionPlant Mechanic

Being happy is vital. Work's a big part of your life


My first route was to go into music. I studied for a year and a half at college, doing music production, beat composing and lyric writing. I love house, reggae, jungle. It wasn’t until I came to the end that I realised I wanted to make a living from something more financially stable. But it had to be something I still enjoyed.

So I did a Level 2 in Electrical Engineering. But this wasn’t right for me either. A friend of my father’s who ran a rail company business said they were doing an apprenticeship programme for a machine plant mechanic. I went for an interview, got the role and that was it.

Jo sitting on the steps of plant machinery

" That's the great thing about having a trade – it travels with you "


Everything I’ve learned has been from practical experience and coming to college. I’m proud of how far I’ve come in the last three years. From not knowing if I could apply myself to a trade to gaining a wide range of skillsets that I can take with me in the future. Not only here in the UK but also abroad. That’s the great thing about having a trade – it travels with you.

I work in mechanical engineering, fixing electrical-based components, fault-finding hydraulic problems. An average day involves an early start at 7 am. And I commute, so I’m up at 5 am each morning. On-site, I make sure the machines are all in working order with pre-inspections, safety checks. They’re really important things. My career not only challenges my practical side, but also my love of theory and problem-solving.

Jo looking inside the engine of plant machinery
Jo working on the engine of plant machinery

The industry’s really been welcoming. You won’t be the only minority, even if you think you are different or might not fit in. If you apply yourself every day, you’ll go far. This career means I have the chance to go further in life and progress. For me, being happy is vital. Work’s a big part of your life. I think it’s about being open-minded and opening yourself up to opportunities. That includes the environment you’re working in.

Jo smiling whilst standing inside a large pipe

My job allows me to be more creative and gives me the extra oomph to put back into my music. It elevates me, keeps me inspired. Just because I pick up one thing, doesn’t mean I have to leave the other thing I love behind. And this job gives me a good balance. You need your chill time. But sometimes you’ll find the answer to an unresolved problem when you switch off. Outside of work, I’m well into running, boxing and mixed martial arts. Keeping healthy and allowing myself to be as active as I can is important to me.

You know, turning up is key. Turning up and taking a chance on something that could get you further in life. It’s worth a shot. The future? I have a bright future ahead of me. There are many opportunities I haven’t come across yet – they’re just waiting for me to turn up. I would say my future is limitless.


Funded through the investment of the CITB levy.
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