Explore: Manufacturing

Furnace Bender
Auto Windscreens

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Glenn B

00.04 My name’s Glenn B. I work Auto Windscreens, I’m a furnace bender, I’ve worked here for three and a half year. A furnace bender is someone what bends windscreens for cars for the front windscreen for cars. You bend it to the correct tolerances for the correct cars to make sure they fit in properly. That’s the furnace there and in there’ll be 26 windscreens, 13 on the bottom and 13 coming back this way, and when it gets up to this end here that’s where you go up and bend.

00.30 When I were at school I wanted to be a footballer but I knew that I were never going to make it to be a footballer so I really wanted to be, I wanted to be a plumber but I never went down that way. And I also wanted to be in the fire service but it never materialised. I enjoyed school but only because I could mess about, not because I had to work. I really enjoyed drama and I really enjoyed PE. I didn’t mind maths but I were never any good at it, but I enjoyed it. I were very chatty, I always used to get in loads of trouble for talking all the time, I never used to listen, but I wished I had listened but I didn’t. Sometimes I didn’t bother turning up to school

01.03 I left school in ’94. I went back to sixth form to do drama but when I went back I really realised it weren’t for me. Really didn’t enjoy sixth form, I enjoyed it out of school. In my first year to the fifth year you had no choice but to go, and in the sixth form you didn’t have to go if you didn’t want to. Not many people really cared about the job they were doing, they just didn’t take it serious so I realised I were never going to get anything out of it. I look back over time and wished that I’d have kept doing it and done something else at school as well, tried really hard then maybe I’d have done something else with my life. Me family always said that they’d support me whatever I did in life, but I think they always wanted more, but it never materialised so I ended up doing what I’m doing today but I don’t regret the way I’ve come through life and ended up here. I don’t regret it one bit.

01.53 I had a part time job at McDonalds but I just liked money so I left school cos I thought, “More money because I can get a full time job at McDonalds.” Just mainly I wanted to go out with me friends and do stuff and have money. I went to work there for about two and a half year, three year, then realised that it was going nowhere so I thought, “I want a new challenge in life.” So I went to work at a company down Brimington in Chesterfield, another plastics place what made lipstick containers for Max Factor. That after four months shut, it went into liquidation so I realised then that was that done. But I really enjoyed that job. It was quite upsetting when the factory closed because the people there were brilliant. But the management never told you it was shutting, you just went there one morning, closed.

02.39 Me partner, she’s a manager for the council and that, she has inspired me a lot to really work hard so because she’s worked from the bottom and got to the top. I just think I started off at the bottom and everyone can start off at the bottom. It doesn’t matter what you did at school, really, what you’ve got, you can still a chance to get to the top. And that’s what inspires me in life. I think, one day I could just be like what she is today.

03.01 The biggest event in my life is partner giving birth to my baby girl. That was amazing. Having a daughter definitely changed me because then it was like, I was selfish. Me and my partner used to go on holiday every year and it was just all about us, but then when my baby girl was born it was like, “It’s now her. She needs us and everything revolves around my little girl.” It’s made me realise that there’s more to life than just coming to work and earning money and now it makes me realise that I look forward to me weekends with me family, going out, enjoying family life. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

03.36 Outside of work I enjoy spending time with me family and I also enjoy watching Chesterfield Football Club home and away, week in, week out. Nine times out of 10 you can be coming home in a foul mood, but that one time makes it all worthwhile, when you win, it does.

03.51 In five to 10 years time I’d still like to be here. I’d like to be doing the same job today as long as I’m still getting the same reward out of it as I get today. I’d like to be higher, of course I would. I think everyone would in life, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Glenn B is a furnace bender at the Auto Windscreens factory. His perspective on life changed when his partner had a baby girl. “It’s made me realise that there’s more to life than just coming to work and earning money and now it makes me realise that I look forward to my weekends with my family, going out, enjoying family life. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

More information about Glass and ceramics process operatives

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

100%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Glass and ceramics process operatives position articles ready for firing in kilns and operate and attend furnaces and kilns to make and treat glass and ceramic items.
Academic qualifications are not normally required. Training is mostly on-the-job, the amount and extent depending on the equipment used and type of operations performed. NVQs/SVQs/vocational qualifications covering glass processing, glass manufacturing, kiln operations and manufacturing ceramic items are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3.
  • Directs loading of furnace with prescribed quantities and types of ingredients;
  • Sets timing and temperature controls, monitors pressure gauges, adjusts controls as necessary and regulates level of glass in furnace as required;
  • Operates controls to rotate rotary furnaces and create a vacuum in vacuum furnaces, ensures that static furnaces are correctly positioned and switches on current;
  • Monitors temperature of drying and annealing kilns and reports any significant deviations from schedule sheet;
  • Cuts off heat supply after firing/heating/drying and cleans furnace and kiln areas.
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Other non-metallic 3136
Specialised construction 1311
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