Moy Park reveals its latest engineering recruitment drive, we caught up with John Stephenson from Moy Park, Dungannon. Between farming and studying, John also heads up an engineering shift at Moy Park, Dungannon as an engineering chargehand. We caught up with John to find out more about what a career in food manufacturing looks like for an engineer.
What was your first job?
My first job was with Moy Park back in 2013. I joined the company as an electrical maintenance apprentice, and I’ve never looked back!
I’m now a chargehand which essentially means I’m a shift leader, responsible for managing all the engineers on duty and liaising with production on any problems. This includes delegating work, taking on projects as well as re-wiring and updating machines.
What qualifications do you have?
I think it’s important to continually improve your skills and knowledge. After my GSCEs I gained an NVQ Level 2&3 in Engineering then completed a BTEC Level 3 in Engineering which allowed me to make the move from apprentice to electrical engineer. Various other qualifications have helped my career development along the way, such as an NVQ in Refrigeration, a Higher National Certificate and Diploma in Engineering and I’m currently completing a course in the Open University in which I’m hoping to gain a Bachelors in Engineering with Honors. Moy Park also has a host of on-the-job training which helps when it comes to practical learning.
What got you interested in engineering?
My father worked as a lorry driver and mechanic throughout my childhood and was also a farmer, so I’d say I was very hands on from a young age. I liked farming but I knew it wasn’t the career path for me. I completed work experience as a mechanic at school but soon realised that wasn’t for me either, so I decided to go into the electrical side of things. Sometimes it takes trying your hand at a few things until you find the right path.
What do you attribute your success to?
My commitment to learning. It’s important to constantly test yourself and keep up to date with the latest techniques. I think you always need to reflect on what you’ve done and continuously work your way up to where you want to be.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I think it’s important that you never ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself. I also think connecting with staff and employees on a personal level is extremely important especially with apprentices, encourage your team to keep progressing and set them tasks that you know they’ll excel in, it helps increase moral and keep staff motivated.
Why is Moy Park a good place to work for an engineering?
Food manufacturing is an engineer’s dream! There’s such a variety of work whatever your interest - from electrical, hydraulic, automation and robotics - so you’re never doing the same thing. You also feel really appreciated by senior members of staff - managers like to listen if you have an idea, they’re willing to try it out and have a lot of trust in the engineers.
Is there anything that people find surprising about your job?
At Moy Park, you’re not just an engineer, you could be doing anything from people management to problem solving, and that’s what so enjoyable about it.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
I come from a farming background so that’s a big part of my life. I’m also really interested in 3D printers and laser cutting. It’s great to see how engineering continues to evolve.