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From Master Baker To Trainee Assessor/Instructor: A Day In The Life Of TTA’s Jon McNabb.

Most people will have a series of job during the course of their working lives.

They may stay working in the same sector throughout, or may branch out in a different direction depending on the circumstances. Few people will have undertaken the type of career change that Jon McNabb, one of TTA’s Trainee Assessor/Instructor, did. He started his career in the catering industry going on to be a Master Baker, before eventually coming to work for Transport Training Academy in 2014.

How did he get from there to here, and what’s a typical day like for Jon and the other trainers?

Here’s Jon’s story.

From Master Baker to Trainee Assessor/Trainer – that’s quite a career change. What’s the story there?

“When I first left school I managed to get a job at Greenhalgh’s Craft bakery, where my mother was a manager. We were quite friendly with Alan Smart, the founder of Greenalgh’s, ‘and through that connection I managed to get the job. I started off on the ovens and went to college and spent the next 7 or 8 years there working my way up from trainee charge hand to charge hand and then on to supervisor. The only problem was that there’s no holiday in the food industry: you work for 364 days a year and only get Christmas Day off, and I guess as I was still relatively young I wanted to be able to do and experience other things in life too.”

“I managed to get a job as a steel erector and fork lift driver working down in London through a friend of mine. Unfortunately I was injured at work and spent nearly 18 months off sick. Eventually I got the opportunity to work in logistics at TTA. I’d been on one of their training courses and must’ve made an impression. I’d never been in front of a classroom before, but they must have seen something in me. I’m very lucky and know that I’ve landed on my feet. I really appreciate everything that TTA has done for me. They’ve given me all the training I need, and they’ve backed me all of the way. It’s hard to find a job where you’re glad to be coming into work, but with this job I’ve found just that. I can’t thank the team enough for giving me the opportunity.”

What’s a typical day as a trainer like for you?

“A typical day? Well, I get in around 7.30 – 7.45 usually and go into my classroom and make sure I’ve got everything ready and in place for that day’s training. At around 8.30 we go into the main office for what’s called a ‘huddle’. Here we talk about what we need, everything that’s been done the day before, if I need anything, any problems we might have encountered, or if I need any backing – that sort of thing. The day then proceeds from there.”

“We work out what we’re going to do each day with different segments of the training portfolios. It’s important to plan in advance because when you’ve got 17 or 18 students of various ages and abilities you need to plan your time well. Some will need help reading and writing, others will need extra help in keeping up with the members of the group who learn quickly. My role as a trainee assessor/trainer is to help students learn, and to do that I try to make sure that I can help in any way I can. The day after that just carries on from there. I also do forklift training as well and FLT training on the trucks now I’m qualified.”

Is teamwork important at TTA?

“Oh God yes: you couldn’t do it without teamwork – no chance. You need the backing of every team member there to make it work for our students. You might need information or advice, or simply need administrative help and support getting letters out, but because we work as a team everything functions like clockwork.

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