0:00:03 Hiya, I’m Chris J, a customer service engineer for BT Openreach, and I’m from Wigan. My job involves fixing telephone lines and installing telephone lines, so that’s at customers’ houses or at businesses.
00:00:17 I enjoyed studying a little bit, but it was good to do things as well. I like doing a mixture of learning but also actually putting things into action, so if I went to college it would have been just learning all the time, just in one room, which one thing that pushed me towards, like, a BT apprenticeship would be that I was outside and actually… it’s freedom, as well, which is something I really liked.
00:00:40 I was sixteen when I started, so I came straight out of high school. I applied for apprenticeships everywhere. I really wanted an apprenticeship. My dad, he started off as an electrical engineer and then he moved into management, so he kind of… I think he wanted the same thing for me. I spoke to Connexions and he said ‘It will be really hard for you just to get one apprenticeship,’ but luckily I managed to get two. I was really lucky. I got offered two – one at BT and one at an electrical engineering company. They did similar to what I did at work experience, and that was making control panels for different companies.
00:01:16 So that was my first choice and I managed to get involved in that. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted because it was inside. I got a little bit bored because it was just all repetitive sort of… but with this job I’m doing now, everything is different and you don’t get a day that’s the same really.
00:01:35 It’s quite a big change from going to school and just doing your lessons and things like that, and then you move into a working world where you’re actually responsible for doing jobs and actually putting lines in, installing lines, and repairing lines. There’s a lot of responsibility on yourself, so that’s quite a big change because there’s a little… It’s not stressful but there’s more importance to it than school, so that’s probably a bit of a turning point for me, I would say.
00:02:04 Outside of work, I used to play a lot of football. I had trials for Wigan Athletic Football team and then after that I didn’t play for the team so I kind of lost interest in it a little bit. So I went from football to the websites, mostly, and spent a lot of time doing that. I first started getting an interest in websites when my dad, he did like a course at college at night school. He had to make a website as part of his coursework. So when I was younger, I was sat behind him watching him make this website, and I thought ‘it’s not too hard to do and I could make like a games website or something.’
00:02:39 This was when I was about twelve-years-old, so I thought ‘It will be a bit of fun, and I can show my friends at school and I can say ‘That’s my website’ and everything. And then after the first year, I had contacts saying ‘How much are your advertising rates?’ And I thought ‘This is great.’ For a thirteen-year-old to be making like two hundred pounds for a month, and you’d be like ‘I’m only thirteen and I’m making this sort of money.’ I thought ‘I’ve got to make some more websites.’ So I started making more websites, and then more advertising deals came in, and it’s gone from there really.
00:03:14 I’m undecided what I’d like to do in my career. Probably, I’d like to move into management, maybe, because I can see myself moving into that sort of area like my dad did, or maybe even websites because I run the BT apprentices’ website as well. I volunteered to do that. It’s good to help other people out by just updating that as a source of information. I don’t know. Whatever my career takes me to, as long as I enjoy it, I’d like to do that. If I could do anything in the world, I don’t know, probably run a business, and have other people doing it for me and then I wouldn’t have to do anything.