Inside British Gas
Kim Smith Trainee Smart Energy Expert Profile
20 August 2012 Posted by Kim Smith Smart Energy Expert
Name: Kim Smith
Job Title: SEE Smart Energy Expert
Business area/scheme: British Gas Meter Operations / Smart Homes
Are you an Apprentice or a Trainee: Trainee
Q1. How long have you been at British Gas?
I am just coming up to my 2 year anniversary, I started working for BG on the 31st August 2010, I remember it as it was the bank holiday weekend and I started on the Tuesday. Seems like only yesterday
Q2 What were you doing before you joined British Gas?
I have had various jobs, but I was employed by the MOD as an Instructor, I was teaching members of the Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm about computer systems. I have also been a teacher for some time, worked stacking shelves in a supermarket and been a Software Engineer.
Q3 What made you decide to join the apprenticeship/trainee scheme?
I was looking for a new challenge, I always said that I hated working in an office and really wanted to be outside, sun on my face enjoying the fresh air rather than looking at the outside world through a window from an air conditioned office.
I was also looking for a company where there was a career path, where I could progress onto other jobs and one where there was some form of security in the position.
Q4 Can you remember your first day of your training? What was your initial impression?
I think I was shocked, I was the second oldest person in my group, I was maybe expecting the group to be lots of young people, but most of the people were in late 20’s and 30’s, still making me the elder of the group. The training centre was good when we walked around you could see that the environment and the training material was well presented. My first day was a shock because we were told we would go for a driving assessment, and then when we came back I went to give the keys back and they said NO those are the keys to your van. That’s a lot of commitment, providing you with a van on your first day. Safety was a big thing from the start, we had safety boots from day one and all the way through the training safety was key
Q5 What’s been the most memorable part of your training so far?
Going out on patch and doing the job, it’s okay being in the workshop learning the skills you need to be able to do the job, but it is something different when you are working in someone’s house. Working in confined spaces, and talking to people has been a great experience, and a confidence boost.
Q6 What do you enjoy most about being part of the British Gas apprenticeship/trainee scheme?
I enjoy the variety of the people I am working with, people come from different walks of life, have different characters and come with a wide range of experience and a huge scale of age. Oldest and youngest have about 25 years between them.
Q7 What are you most looking forward to when you qualify?
I have already qualified, but before I qualified I was most looking forward to doing the job on my own, being responsible for the work that I do. Meeting people and talking to them. I have worked in an office environment it will be nice to just be outside in the fresh air, especially as I live on the Isle of Wight and will get to drive around the Island and enjoy it’s lovely scenery.
Q8 Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I would like to think that I might progress into management. I would like to be a Smart Energy Manager. I think that having done the job as a SEE I would have more empathy with staff and have a greater understanding of their needs than if I had not had that experience. If not, I might think about going into Electrical Installation, there’s plenty of opportunity to transfer across parts of the business.
Q9 How do you spend your spare time?
When I have time on my hands I spend it trying to keep control of my garden which is not easy as I have a large hedge and quite a lot of lawn to maintain. I walk my Staffordshire Bull Terriers ever day, and I live quite close to a forest and often walk around the forest with the dogs. I also enjoy cycling and play in a Samba Band.
Q10 What unusual thing would people not necessarily know about you?
I played a football season with Aston Villa Ladies FC.
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