Simon Barnes assembles refrigerators in Peterborough. He works on the production line where refrigerators move along past a series of work stations where they are assembled.
What does your job involve?
I carry out a variety of tasks from ultrasonic brazing, flame brazing and wiring the refrigerant system motor. I have also worked on different workstations including final testing of the refrigerator system.
Timing is important on this job as the production line must not be held up. If someone is having difficulty with a particular operation we have to be able to go and assist. In this way we get experience of all the assembly work.
What equipment do you use?
Brazing torches, air powered screwdrivers and other hand tools.
How did you get into this job?
My parents work here and gave me an application form after noting that I appeared quite keen on this type of work. I cam for the interview and was offered the job.
Why did you choose this type of work?
It offers me a regular working pattern of hours on a shift basis and also for a manufacturing site it is a very clean working environment.
What training did you receive before starting work and ongoing?
I received comprehensive Health and Safety training before I was allowed to start work on the production line. Then an experienced operator showed me what to do and stood and coached me until I was fully competent in my role. I learnt how to braze in the company training school. I also receive additional training for any new work or jobs that I need to do.
What hours do you work?
I work on a shift pattern with two weeks of days and then two weeks of nights – it averages out at 37 hours a week.
What do you like best about your job?
The work is relatively straightforward, the people are friendly and the working environment is good.
What are the skills and qualities needed?
You need to be able to concentrate on each job. You also have to build up and maintain a constant working speed and you need to be fit and energetic.
- Left school with no qualifications.
- Joined factory on assembly line.
- Time-keeping – it's really important to be reliable.
- Listen to the experienced operators.
- Concentrate on every job that you are given.
Factory Assembler related jobs
- Assembler (Light industry)
- Domestic appliances services technician
Salary of a Factory Assembler
- New operatives earn from £9,000 to £12,000.
- Production operatives with experience may earn from £11,000 to £14,000.
- Some operatives earn more than £17,000.
- In some jobs there may be extra payments for working shifts and also regular opportunities for overtime.
- No educational qualifications are needed to be a production operative, though it does help to have a few Key Skills qualifications or GCSEs/S grades.
- English, maths and practical subjects (such as engineering and manufacturing) are particularly useful. Vocational qualifications such as GNVQs/GSVQs in engineering or manufacture, or a BTEC Introductory Certificate and Diploma in Engineering may also be useful.
- Apprenticeships (Skillseekers in Scotland) may be available.
- Candidates might have to do a practical entry test and normal colour vision may be required for some jobs were parts are colour-coded on an assembly line.
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