It can be quite repetitive if your first fixing on a big job or things like that. It’s a big construction site where you’ve got a lot of one thing to do, it can be quite repetitive. But every day does throw it’s challenges at you. I’m doing inspection testing as well as insulation so it is quite varied and unique. I think working on a building site with my dad from a young age and seeing the electricians and didn’t really know what was going on. I was always curious about being an electrician. I suppose it was my father, I worked with him when he was an electrician many years ago. I worked with him, helping him out on jobs. No I don’t think anyone did, it was my own decision. From a young age I’ve been quite curious and didn’t know how it all worked so I think that has been the biggest influence- just that I didn’t know what went on behind the scenes. Ten years ago, the job I was doing I wasn’t enjoying all that much, so I thought about trying something different.

I remember it helped out involving the electrical work, I quite enjoyed that. I was doing a sports course for a year at Highlands College. I didn’t know whether I wanted a career in sport or a career on the building site, so I decided to do the sports course for a year and see whether I liked it. So I finished the year and realised it wasn’t really for me, so I decided to get into the electrical trade. I did English, Maths, Science, History, ICT, Drama, and PE. Initially I did the NVQ level 3 in electrical insulation and I did the 16th edition and then the 17th edition, and then after that I carried on and did the 2391 inspection and testing. I think probably confidence, initiative, and listening skills. Perseverance, being able to adapt to a change in circumstances and a good sense of humour I think.

I think meeting new people everyday on the building site, meeting people from different trades, and just having the banter on the building sites really. I’ve come to this job quite late in life and I’m learning all the time and I’m really enjoying the learning experience on the job. From how much goes on behind the scenes. People think it’s just putting plug tops on wires and stuff but there is so much that goes on that people don’t see. The advances in technology are vast so that’s the biggest thing that’s surprised me. People think it’s an easy trade, think it’s all clean, but you don’t really know until you’ve been on a building site and see what actually goes on. Go to someone’s house and they say they want a socket put on the wall. They don’t realize they might have to chase out half the wall to get it in, and have to decorate afterwards, they think you’re just going to stick a socket on the wall and it’s done. Getting the job at Brady & Gallagher. I worked there for three months on ‘Advance to Work’, and then getting the job at the end of the three months after my trial.

I think that was the biggest highlight. The biggest highlight so far has been able to come down to this island from up North. Maybe it can be a bit repetitive sometimes if you’re on a big building site, but apart from that I can’t really say there is. I think it can be a bit frustrating sometimes when you’re trying to do a job and things aren’t going your way or you’re hitting snags. It can be frustrating when things take longer than you expect. I think the biggest challenge was my first exam at college. I was nervous for it, I didn’t know what to expect. I just overcame it by being confident in myself and believing I could get that first exam out of the way and start off my college work. I think the biggest challenge so far has been taking the inspection and testing exam.

Be confident within yourself and make your own path and make your own decisions and mistakes and then make your way from there. Don’t be afraid to try different things. If at first you don’t try one thing, try something else. I think it’s brought me good communication skills with adults. Being on a building site, I’m usually the youngest on the building site, so being able to talk to older people and they can pass down their experience and knowledge down to me. I think that’s the biggest thing. I’m from up North, so I’ve been able to come down to here and work so you can, you can travel all over in this job. I think you could do if you wanted to, maybe when your qualified, because the qualification is known worldwide. So as soon as you are qualified you can take it wherever you want, and you could meet new people and work in different countries. When you install something and you first switch it on and everything works! I think the biggest thing that makes me smile is overcoming a challenge- something I don’t know how to do, or something someone’s shown me how to do, doing it for the first time and getting it done properly.