0:02 My name is George U. I’m the technical services and environmental manager for Ulster Carpets Limited.
00:08 It means I have responsibility to ensure all the technical and maintenance, the technical services, the actual mechanical services, the facilities maintenance and the upkeep of all the environmental policy and, and things to do with that in the company.
00:24 I came here really first as an engineering manager and then the job has really evolved over the past number of years, as, as most jobs do. I had the responsibility of electrical and mechanical maintenance, then it evolved to take on facilities management and of course now it takes on the environmental management as well.
00:44 In my lifetime, believe it or not, I’ve only worked for three companies. The first company I worked for was Bridgford Glass. The one thing about them, when you served your time with them as an apprentice, you learned a whole range of skills. You didn’t, if you were an apprentice fitter you didn’t just do fitting, you done the electrical side, you done the actual mechanical side. I then moved to the International Airport, and I worked there through a number of jobs to become the engineer at the International Airport. I left that in, in 1997. I went into retirement and had three years retired and then finally came back out of retirement and joined Ulster Carpets in the year 2000.
01:26 I left school when I was fifteen and moved straight into an apprenticeship so I had just finished the Junior Certificate, as, as it was known then. I had pretty good qualifications in it, I had something like fifteen subjects, mostly in credits and distinctions so I was reasonably well-qualified but then when I went into an apprenticeship I had to go back to the technical college on a part-time basis and I found in my first job, after I had finished serving my time, that you know, there were people being brought in over us, that were with good qualifications. They, they had been to university, they had got a degree and they had brains. They had no experience whatsoever at all and the company at that time brought people like that in and, and promoted them ahead of, of people who had experience. So even at that stage I had acknowledged the need for more formal education.
02:24 I went back to Open University and done a degree in electronics and a degree in computer sciences, computer programming.
02:31 I think the major turning point for me was when I finally acknowledged that I was never going to get on unless I got a good formal education and I went back and signed up for Open University.
02:43 The, the one thing about me, I hated school from the day I started to the day I left. I absolutely detested school. I, I very rarely missed a day, it has to be said and my parents made sure that I did not miss time off school.
02:57 My, my father owned a farm at that time and I couldn’t wait to leave school to get home to work on the farm. I have a herd of Aberdeen Angus suckler cows. When I go home at night from the factory here, I have to check and feed them. I also breed show jumping horses so I have to do some work with those when I get home. Life is very, very busy but I have a grown-up son who lives nearby and he helps out a lot on the farm now.
03:25 I think the only thing that, that I can say is you need to go with whatever you feel you’re good at and whatever you enjoy and if you’re an arty person, absolutely you need to. If you’re an intellectual and, and good with numbers, then mathematics and but the basic education really begins with higher mathematics or English language for, for anybody that really is trying to make a career outside of the arts, and education really is an absolute must, even more so now than, than it ever was in my day.