Ben joined Norish after leaving school at 16 and doing an electrical apprenticeship. He gets a real buzz from fixing problems and overseeing installations at our sites.
My father was an electrician and I went on jobs with him at the weekends and during the school holidays, so I like to think that I did an apprenticeship before the official one. I joined Norish as an Engineering Assistant and learned from some very experienced Senior Engineers and by working across our south of England sites and just doing everything.
I gradually became fascinated by the fridge plants and all their different applications. They house millions of pounds worth of food so when there’s a problem it’s a great feeling to fix it and get everything running again. And there’s even more satisfaction in knowing that you’ve done it in line with health and safety.
After a few years, I became Site Engineer at Bury St Edmunds and, shortly after that, Regional Engineer. I did that for five or six years before taking up my current role as Assistant Chief Engineer for the company. I’m based at Bury St Edmunds but I visit other sites such as Wrexham, Brierley Hill, and Braintree.
There is no typical day because we are involved with so many things: electrical work, industrial racking, welding, and stripping down a compressor to name just a few. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy the job so much. And it’s not all about repairs. We do a lot of installations so that involves overseeing contractors and making sure that everything is on time and on budget.
I also enjoy preventative maintenance because it involves interaction and working as a team with Operations. The end goal is to keep everything running – it’s about compromising to ensure an undisrupted flow of ‘pallets in, pallets out’.
All our larger sites have a Site Engineer and a Site Assistant. When there’s a bigger job I will visit the site and brief the contractors on what to price for.