00:00:02 My name is Simon B. I work for BT Fleet, and I’m a motor vehicle technician and I work in Birmingham. I work on everything from small vehicles like cars, all the way up to large trucks and heavy goods vehicles, and I do repairs and servicing on these vehicles, as well as MOTs on the smaller ones.
00:00:25 Initially, when I was a child, and even into my early teens as well, I was more art orientated and design orientated. It was only when I got a little bit older and I got more into the hobby of doing cars that I felt, actually, this doesn’t actually feel quite right, roundabout sixteen/seventeen when I first started to get into cars, and it was just a case of me and my friends started taking bits apart on the car and adding stuff on, and doing modifications. I suppose once it gets into your blood, sort of thing, it really grabs hold of you.
00:01:03 Right the way up until I finished high school I was still really into art, and I even enrolled into college to do a foundation 3-D design course, which I completed until the end. I did actually get a placement in Coventry University to be able to carry on doing the design, but I just felt at that time the financial implications of it were really extreme, so I felt that I couldn’t actually carry on. My interest, you know, backed away from that idea and then I wanted to focus more on using my hands.
00:01:40 And then it was just a case of writing out CVs, taking them to different manufacturers, and also looking on the internet at different sites, and I managed to come across British Telecom. They were asking for apprentices. I filled out an online application form and it just all went from there really. I suppose in a way I got quite a satisfying feeling that I have actually found my place, sort of thing
00:02:02 My mum works in an office and she does accountancy work. My dad works… Well, he’s a warehouse manager. Because my mum and dad do different things, I didn’t feel like I had to follow what they were doing, and that’s why they were so supportive because they didn’t want me to follow certain aspects of their lives, so they encouraged me to do whatever made me feel happy.
00:02:26 They were supportive all the way through college, but then when I decided to leave that idea behind and develop the more practical side of my life further then they encouraged me to do that as well.
00:02:36 One person who has really been there pretty much ever since I was in my early teens and helped me along was my best friend, and he’s always had the more get up and go attitude, the more level head on him, as well, especially helping him do technical jobs on his car when we changed the engine over. To hear him saying stuff like ‘You did a good job there,’ actually encouraged me and I thought ‘you know what, actually, yes, I could probably take this a bit further.’ It made me think that’s where I want to be, that’s where I want to go.
00:03:14 I feel extremely lucky all the time really that I’ve actually managed to take something that I enjoy doing in my own spare time, and then actually being paid for it and actually doing it day in, day out, as a job. I’m extremely lucky every day. I probably could try and branch out for it but working in more of a rally car aspect. I’d love to do a job such like that. I mean my skills that I’ve got now are a great foundation for me to advance on that.
00:03:44 BT are putting me through a Masters qualification, so those qualifications may help me. The idea of working on cars and travelling world, you know, one hobby and then just seeing the world on top of it just seems like the icing on the cake, so it just seems like the next step up.