Explore: Manufacturing

Production Manager
PPG Industries

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Stephen T

Well, I’m Stephen T. I’ve been at PPG for twenty years. I’ve recently been made into a production manager last December, so that’s a big challenge for me. I’ve had twenty years of working shifts on the plant. I started off, actually, in this building in here just filling tins of paint, and stacking and packing them. I did that for about four years, and I applied for the role of the hardeners shift team leader. I was successful in that. I did that for about seven years before I was lucky enough to become production manager here.

00:00:32 I’ve gone from looking after, like, six or seven people to a hundred and seven people in ten different production areas. I know we’ve had people in my position before who have come… grad students who have come straight through. And they’ve struggled with the whole process of how paint is made and the understanding of the difficulties they have in producing it, so for me it’s good that I’ve come through the shop floor and know all the history of how paint is made. It helps me make the decisions that I need to make, so, yes, it’s definitely a benefit for me.

00:01:09 I think when I was at school I really enjoyed history and biology, but I believe that was the teachers I had rather than the subjects I had. I really liked my teachers. I really got on well with them. I left school and didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. Two of my friends went into the Air Force. That was a big shock after living in each other’s pockets for three or four years to then not being around. I just picked up a job locally, welding. The job wasn’t an exciting job; although it was nice to be out in a different atmosphere, but after about a year I just wasn’t enjoying it. There was nothing holding me there. I think when I had four children, I think you get to a stage where you realise you’re not a young man and you just want a bit more out of life for yourself.

00:01:57 Your views change, I think. I got back into scouting and started to enjoy my social side of life. I think having children settles you down and changes your views. I originally got… was in scouting myself. I went back into scouting when I took my son to give him something else other than football to do. I went away on a camp, and, as traditional, we had a Saturday night camp fire. We would always make a point of going round the circle and discussing what we’d enjoyed, or what we’d got out of the camp, and what were out best bits of the weekend. We had this one lad, he was a really, really quiet lad. He actually stood up and he said ‘Well, I go to school and I haven’t got any friends at school.’ He said ‘I come here and I feel like part of a family. Wherever I go in life, I will never forget the years that I’ve had in scouts.’

00:02:50 For the three grown men sitting there it was a little bit of a, you know, a moment there, and that’s what I believe scouting is all about. If I look over the years of the people who have made it from the shop floor to shift leader, and then I think a lot of people are comfortable at that level of shift leader and they don’t really want to go any further. I think there’s probably three that I’ve know that have actually took that step in the twenty years that I’ve been here, so I’m quite pleased with the achievement, yes.

00:03:17 My father worked here. I didn’t actually tell him when I came for the interview that I was coming down here. He worked here for thirty-five years, retired at fifty. I followed my father’s footsteps, but it weren’t an intentional thing that I set out to do, and he never encouraged me to come down here. But he has actually said that he’s quite proud of me that I’ve made it up to production manager, which is one above where he made it to. I’m quite pleased with that. ENDS



Stephen joined the firm one year after leaving school. Proud to have worked his way up to the position of Production Manager he knows the value of everything he learnt on the factory floor. Father of four Stephen also recognises that having a family can change your outlook. Outside work he volunteers as a scout leader, a role which he finds enormously rewarding for the positive contribution he can make.

More information about Production managers and directors in manufacturing

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

85%  male 
15%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Production managers and directors in manufacturing plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the activities and resources necessary for production in manufacturing industries including the maintenance of engineering items, equipment and machinery.
There are no pre-set entry standards. Entry is possible with either a degree or equivalent qualification, and/or relevant experience. On-the-job training is provided and professional qualifications are available, as are S/NVQs in Management at levels 3 to 5.
  • Liaises with other managers to plan overall production activity and daily manufacturing activity, sets quality standards and estimates timescales and costs;
  • Manages production to ensure that orders are completed to an agreed date and conform to customer and other requirements;
  • Monitors production and production costs and undertakes or arranges for the preparation of reports and records;
  • Oversees supervision of the production line and its staff, ensures targets are met.
Employment by region
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Employment status

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