After 16 years of working in our British Gas call centre Homecare team, Grant McGaley tells us why he made the jump to start a new engineering apprenticeship. Read on to find out more about Grant’s background and what he does now…
What sparked your apprenticeship journey?
I always enjoyed the challenge of retaining customers and helping them find the best deal on their Homecare packages, especially if that meant I saved them a few pounds per month – it gave me real job satisfaction. After such a long time in one place, I was looking for a new challenge. I’d always seen engineers in the office and thought I wanted to do that. The chance to meet customers face-to-face and get out and learn new skills that will benefit me and help the business sounded perfect.
How have you found your apprenticeship so far?
At 38, I’m the oldest of the group of apprentices but what is it they say? “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” - well I am certainly learning lots! But seriously, I suppose being the oldest, due to the fact I left school 22 years ago and trying to remember all the things I covered in Maths, English and Chemistry has certainly been testing at times. That said, every day seems different with fresh challenges and new objectives to overcome and that is exciting.
What do you do on a day to day basis in your apprenticeship?
Day-to-day, when I’m not in the training academy, I meet my mentor to plan our day. We arrive at our first customer's house and introduce ourselves. We look at the meter and decide what the best plan of action would be to get the job done right. We keep our customers informed of what we are doing while advising them how to use their new equipment and giving energy efficiency advice where possible. I think it’s really important that the customer knows exactly how they can save energy and money – and that’s what I’m there to help with.
What has been the most challenging part?
This job doesn’t come without its challenges. I have three young children at home, and I must study in the evenings. It’s a hectic house until 8:30pm so I have to find time to balance both. I know it’s only a short apprenticeship, so I want to get everything I can out of it before I qualify and work on my own. I’m enjoying all the new things I’m learning, and I especially enjoy putting those learnings into practice in customer’s homes. Knowing I have the right attitude and skills to do this job is a great feeling, so I know all my hard work will be worth it.
What would be your top piece of advice?
Helping customers has inspired me the most in my career so far and British Gas is a great company to work for. If you’re thinking about applying for an apprenticeship, I’d say just go for it! You need to have an open mind and be ready to learn and you will find yourself with a very rewarding career at the end of it.