Building Services Technician
Virgin Active

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Leigh F

00:00:02 My name is Leigh F. I work for Virgin Active and I’m a Building Services Technician. If something goes wrong in the building, anything from air conditioning to swimming pools, to even basic things like changing light bulbs, that’s what we’re responsible for.

00:00:21 I enjoyed school but I couldn’t wait to get out of school. Once I’d left school, I realised the importance of doing well at school. I left school at sixteen and I was working for a local builder, and that’s when I realised I liked working with my hands, so I worked with a builder for about two years, and then I got an opportunity to work for Dorchester Hotel. It was working with them that I got the opportunity to work for a maintenance department. That’s when I went back to college and started studying plumbing, and then I’ve been doing maintenance engineering ever since.

00:01:02 A turning point for me was when I was working at the Dorchester on the concierge department, desperately trying to become a plumber or trying to get the opportunity to become one. I’d exhausted every avenue, looking through Yellow Pages, ringing up local companies, so I approached the engineering department in the hope that they could put me in touch with a plumbing company that I hadn’t already approached myself. Basically, they said that they were looking for a plumber and they gave me the opportunity to work with them, and also study plumbing at the same time.

00:01:32 I worked for the Dorchester for four years as a plumber, and then I heard about a job opportunity with Virgin Active, which I applied for but I actually initially got turned down because I was a plumber and they were looking for engineers, but engineers with electrical qualifications, which I didn’t have. It was just through sheer persistence – I was constantly ringing, ringing, and ringing, just asking basically just for an opportunity just to meet somebody face to face, and then in the end they got fed up with me ringing up and said ‘Okay, because you’ve been so persistent, we’re going to get you in and see what you’ve got to say,’ so basically I said to them ‘I recognise that I’m not an electrician, but if you give me the job then I will go to college if you allow me to work around the college time,’ which they said ‘Okay, that’s fine.’ So I’ve been with Virgin for two years now, studying the whole time at college.

00:02:32 Yes, Virgin Active have been very, very supportive, because I also study sign language, which I do in my own time, which they’ve allowed me to do… work shifts around it so that I can leave early to study that. At my last job, one of the engineers was deaf and I just become interested. When I was studying plumbing, I looked into it and I’ve been studying it ever since.

00:02:59 I don’t really get a lot of leisure time at the moment because work is quite demanding and college is quite demanding as well. There’s a lot of studying, so really at the minute I’m just keeping my head down and just most of my spare time is taken up with studying. But I like to travel in my spare time.

00:03:20 My parents haven’t put any pressure on me to go in a certain direction. They’ve always left it up to me to decide what it is that I want to do. I think my dad has been a great inspiration to me in my life. He’s got a very good worth ethic. I think that’s probably where I get mine from.

00:03:42 The next step for me would be to become the manager of a club, and then I think in the next five years possibly see myself as an area manager or maybe even national maintenance manager.

00:03:56 End

Leigh F is a Building Services Technician at a Virgin Active health club. He’s a qualified plumber and is qualifying as an electrician too. He was very keen to work at Virgin, and kept phoning them up until they agreed to give him a chance.

More information about Property, housing and estate managers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

58%  male 
42%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Job holders within this unit group manage shopping centres, residential areas and private estates, and arrange for the sale, purchase, rental and leasing of property on behalf of clients and employers.
There are no formal academic requirements, although entrants usually possess a BTEC/SQA award, a degree or equivalent qualification. Apprenticeships are available in some areas. Many employers expect the attainment of membership to a relevant professional body.
  • Determines staffing, financial, material and other short- and long-term requirements;
  • Manages general upkeep, maintenance and security of the estate’s amenities;
  • Makes sure that the amenities meet health and safety standards and legal requirements;
  • Advises on energy efficiency;
  • Discusses client’s requirements and may advise client on the purchase of property and land for investment and other purposes;
  • Conducts or arranges for structural surveys of properties and undertakes any necessary valuations of property or agricultural land, and deals with grant and subsidy applications;
  • Negotiates land or property purchases and sales or leases and tenancy agreements and arranges legal formalities with solicitors, building societies and other parties;
  • Maintains or arranges for the maintenance of estate accounts and records and produces financial forecasts;
  • Acts as arbiter in disputes between landlord and tenant and ensures that both fulfil their legal obligations;
  • Examines and assesses housing applications, advises on rent levels, investigates complaints and liaises with tenants’ association and social workers to resolve any family problems.
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Top 10 industries for this job
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Services to buildings 29602
Accommodation 20359
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Retail trade 7951
Construction 7685
Architectural & related 7575
Food & beverage services 6290
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Public admin. & defence 4499
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