Meet Paul Shaw, Innov8 Property Maintenance Apprentice working for Global Employer ‘dnata’ in Heathrow and Gatwick. We spent some time interviewing Paul to find out more about his story.
“I changed my career because I used to be a HGV Driver. I used to do Bus driving but you can’t get anywhere on the roads. When this contract was offered with dnata, I knew it was guaranteed for 3-4 years. I was offered to be put through an apprenticeship, so I said “if it’s alright, I’ll take it!”. I did year with dnata before I started the Apprenticeship with Innov8, just to make sure it was all good.”
“I’ve been doing PAT testing, testing for Genella, we do plumbing and general building maintenance. I’ve learned how to plaster, learned how to do patch repairs, door hanging the proper way rather that the DIY way.”
“It’s definitely a career change but I’m glad that I’ve done it. You get your City & Guilds at the end of it plus if you own your own house it’s going to save you money in the long run.”
“I see myself staying with dnata, because for example with PAT testing, I can see myself going round all the regions in the UK. We’re based in Gatwick, East Midlands, Birmingham Airport, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow so I could doing all the electric testing there. At Gatwick, we’ve got seven warehouses, two office blocks and another warehouse being built called dnata East - we’re getting bigger and bigger.”
“Day-to-day we could be doing anything from crash-barrier repairs in the carparks, we do general day-to-day plumbing like fixing broken taps, drain clearing, painting and decorating, fitting electrics. Two days are never the same! All the jobs are on an electronic tablet, which is where we get jobs come through. At the moment we’re doing Gatwick once a week, every Thursday.”
“There was an incident at one of the ware houses where a pillar was knocked down. It’s great because what I’m learning at college, I’m also doing at work! It’s a coincidence that I’m learning brickwork here at Innov8 at the same time that I’m rebuilding the pillar at work. We used to get outside contractors in, but now there’s three of us on the ground and we get more and more work. So we’re trying to cut out the contractors because it’s costing the company more money. We’re getting more involved than we would normally, so it’s beneficial for them and us in the long run.”
“I’m the oldest apprentice here, you know, by a long shot. I think I’m two years older than Simon (Innov8 Tutor) but yeah we get on and have a laugh and a joke. When we do teamwork, I’ve nick-named the team Saga, because I’m the oldest here. It is what it is, we all get along.”
“It was a bit daunting at first to come back to college, but you know some of us have a general interest out side college that are similar, it’s a really good team.”
“We’ve got Maths and English that we do in the afternoons. I passed my Maths & English years ago! When I joined Innov8, they asked me for my results! I said ‘corr, you’ll be lucky!’. So I tried tracing the exam results but I couldn’t find them, so I’m just resitting Maths and English in the afternoons here as well. It’s good, it’s getting the old grey matter working again! It’s not daunting at all, it’s enjoyable. I first thought, Maths & English! Not again!”
We asked Paul, what kind of advice would you give someone in your shoes? “I’d say go for it! My job is so much more enjoyable now, compared to sitting behind the wheel of a truck or bus! Each day is different, it’s never boring. I learn new things at college every week! It’s beneficial, it’s more than just a piece of paper. A lot of people say it’s just a piece of paper, but it’s not because you’re learning and you get to put your skills to use at home, at work - so it’s something you’re going to do and each day it totally different. I’d recommend it to anybody.”
“I’d recommend it to anyone that’s not sure about doing an apprenticeship or going into building. There are so many different angles you can take. It’s definitely been a worth while career change.”
“I’d never heard of Innov8 until the apprenticeship came up and I’d come here to visit, but I can’t fault the place."
We’d like to thank Paul Shaw for his time with us and we wish you all the best in your career in the future! Find out more about a Construction Apprenticeship with Innov8 for you or your team here.