The Job: Neil, 25, is part of Peugeot Citroen’s graduate scheme.
Since joining in April 2004, he has worked as a quality engineer and on car assembly projects before moving into his current position. He supervises 25 assembly line operators at the company’s plant near Coventry. "I look after the labour situation," he explains. "If we have got people off absent, if we have to discipline any operators, I have to deal with that. Another of the main parts of the job is the buyoff, which is the number of cars that leave the end of the line right rather than having defects that have been detected and need fixing."
Why apply? Two p’s – passion and progression. "After I graduated, I worked for a medium sized motor sport company, but I wasn’t getting the experience and training that I wanted," he notes. "I knew I wanted to stay in the motor industry because I have a passion for cars. The Peugeot scheme seemed right. The graduates I spoke with at the time I was applying all had good stories to tell and you could see that there was progression into management."
What gets him out of bed? The job’s variety, which draws on his engineering background to sort out production problems, and gaining experience in business through handling labour issues.
The challenges? "Trying to earn respect of the operators," Neil notes. "One of my operators is younger than me, and all the rest are older than me. Some of them there who have worked for the company longer than I’ve been alive." But Neil makes sure he knows as much as he can about the operators’ jobs. "I don’t just look at things from the company part of it, look at it from their side," he suggests.
We say: If you desire a career in the motor industry, working for a global company may be your best bet. On one hand, the UK’s manufacturing industry has experienced continuous job cuts. But the government is convinced that modern manufacturing is central to the UK’s economic future. This means an increased focus on new technologies transforming products and processes. This spells demand for skilled grads.