Being a plant operator was my dream job as a kid. I never wanted to sit behind a desk in an office. I always wanted to work outside, all the time. I didn’t have any contacts in the industry, but I saw a job offer and thought I had nothing to lose.
I did twelve weeks of full-time training with CITB. There were theory and practical tests. When you pass, you’re given a card to show you’re a trained operator, and then you can get an NVQ as an apprentice. After that, you get a blue card, and that means you’re a competent operator.
It was a bit daunting at first on-site, but once you make friends and get used to it, it’s one hell of a place to work. It’s fun and really interesting. You have to knuckle down and be serious, but there’s always time for a laugh.
On a typical day, I get up at half-five, drive to work and arrive at eight. Then I get changed, put my equipment on, and I’m given a task by my line manager. I start doing pre-start and wet checks on the machine I’m working with. It could be anything from an excavator or dump truck to slinging and telehandlers.
Sometimes older, more experienced people think you don’t know what you’re doing, because compared to them you’ve just started out. But I love proving them wrong by getting my head into the job. Whatever company you work for, there are always opportunities to show what you’re made of. I’m hoping to spend a few more years on-site and then become an instructor.
I’m a family guy, and I can’t wait to buy a house and have my own kids. To me, work is my future. Everything I do now is enhancing the possibility to have a nicer life when I get older.
I’m very proud of my job and the opportunities I’ve been given, and so are my parents. I don’t like to brag, but I do love talking about my work. The proudest part is seeing the finished product. You arrive and see a few lines in the ground and go home seeing what you’ve accomplished.
Funded through the investment of the CITB levy.