1. What were you doing before you joined Leyland Trucks?
My name is Martin Fortune and my current role within Leyland Trucks is working on the shop floor as a mechatronic engineer. Ever since my work experience at an engineering firm at the age 14, I knew that this was the career pathway I wanted to pursue and I have been an employee of Leyland Trucks for the past 9 years.
The main choice for me in the last year of school was whether to go via the Apprentice route or the full time college route. For me it was an easy choice: as an apprentice I was able to gain valuable work experience at the same time as studying, earning good money whilst doing something I enjoy without racking up a mountain of debt. This enabled me to purchase my first car at 17 and home at 23 while my friends at university were still living with their parents and working weekends at fast food chains.
2. How have you progressed since you’ve been with Leyland Trucks?
The first year of my apprenticeship was spent at Training 2000 in Blackburn getting a taster of many different aspects of engineering, whilst focusing on general electrical principles and also the mechanical and electrical aspects of motor vehicles.
During the final 3 years of my apprenticeship I was based on site at Leyland and went on day release to college where I gained my NVQ Level 3 in auto electrics and a technical certificate in vehicle maintenance and repair. In these 3 years I moved around a variety of departments gaining a wide range of knowledge in all aspects of truck assembly.
The main areas I work in now are vehicle finishing, where I work as an electrician, and also re-engineering, where we carry out a range of modifications to the vehicles based on specific customer requirements.
Training and education have not stopped though since I completed my apprenticeship. I have become a certified tachograph calibrator and I am currently studying for my HNC in electrical and electronic engineering on Thursday nights and Friday afternoons. The company support me in this through providing myself with the time to study for this qualification and also pay for half of this course for me – provided I put in the hard work and pass the course.
I believe that the HNC is essential to help me to progress to where I want to be in the future. I aim over the next few years to not only pass my HNC, but to also progress onto a degree which I know the company will again support me in. These qualifications, and the opportunities available to me to widen my experience within engineering, will help me progress into the role of a Design Engineer where I will work on a variety of different engineering projects.
3. What’s the best thing about working at Leyland Trucks?
One of the best things about working at Leyland is that there are always different opportunities arising, whether it be to travel, further your education, or job progression. Every day is different and you get to work with a great set of people.
In 2013 I was lucky enough to be selected to go to work in the brand new DAF factory in Brazil for 3 months. I was sent as part of a team of 5 with the purpose of training up the new employees in how to build a truck from start to finish. During my time in Brazil I worked with PACCAR employees from Europe, North America and South America. This was a big test for me and I surprised myself on how much I had progressed and learnt during my time as a Leyland employee.
4. What’s a typical day for you?
A typical day for me all depends on which department I’m working in, as I have knowledge of a wide range of sections I don’t know where I’m working from one day to the next. This suits me as I’m always looking for fresh challenges and like the fact that every day is different and you get to meet new people.
5. What do you hope the future holds for you at Leyland Trucks?
In the future I want to be an engineer capable of taking on challenges/ projects of increasing responsibility and progress as much as I can within Leyland. I aim to constantly better myself and take any opportunities which come my way. Hopefully I will get to do some more travelling as Brazil was one of the greatest experiences of my life so far.