On November 9 Joe Miller (JM) scooped the first ever prize for Young Manufacturer of the Year at The Manufacturer (TM) of the Year Awards. TM talks to him to discover more about his day to day responsibilities and his outlook on the manufacturing industry in the UK.
TM: Explain your job role– what are your main responsibilities?
JM: I organise and work on aerospace manufacturing projects for customers such as British Airways and Rolls Royce. The size of the projects I work on range from the smallest custom spanner to large fabrication projects. I am closely involved in each project I work on from its inception through to delivery and after sales care. I oversee and manage project work, selecting suitable materials, manufacturing methods and suppliers.
TM: What personal characteristics help you to excel in your work?
JM: The essential quality needed in my role is good communication skills. I co-ordinate projects where I need to liaise with internal colleagues as well as deal directly with customers and suppliers. I believe that this is one area where I have excelled during my career.
TM: How did you first come to join Drallim – Have you always wanted to work in industry?
JM: My journey in engineering started as an unconfident teenager desperate for employment. I had no idea what I wanted to be and had almost no work experience. My employment search began by walking around the local industrial estate handing out CVs to each unit. I managed to obtain a job at Drallim Industries, starting off in the sales team. I used to lend a hand on the shop floor and soon found that good knowledge of the products and how they were manufactured helped me with customers.
The company offered me the chance to work on production full-time as an apprentice while attending the ONC Manufacturing Engineering (BTEC) on day release. Before the course started I was unsure about which career path was right for me. I soon became fascinated by the vast manufacturing methods and the differing applications of materials based on their properties, manipulability and cost. I knew then that engineering was the industry for me.
TM: What is the greatest achievement of your career so far? Why was it important to you?
JM: My most recent and greatest achievement has got to be winning The Manufacturer’s Young Manufacturer of the Year Award. I believe that my win shows young people that anyone can carve out a successful career in the manufacturing industry, regardless of company size or the individual’s background.
TM: The manufacturing industry currently has a skills shortfall and difficulty in attracting talented young people for the future. What do you think could be done to raise the profile of industry careers and make manufacturing more attractive to young people?
JM: The main way to get young people interested in manufacturing engineering is to promote the subject at a very early age. Subjects such as machining, processing, designing, project management, materials engineering could be incorporated into the current education system – giving young people a taste of what is involved within the manufacturing industry.
I believe that another way to promote young people within manufacturing is to help businesses financially with the cost of employing apprentices. An apprenticeship benefits both the young person and the business and I believe these schemes are essential in giving young talent the chance to apply both knowledge and skills within a company.
TM: What is your ultimate career ambition?
JM: In the long term I hope gain experience across all the departments I have not experienced at Drallim Industries – rounding of a full knowledge of the business. A successful career in engineering management is my ultimate ambition.
Name: Joe Miller
Education: AS Levels and GCSEs
Qualifications and professional accreditations: ONC Manufacturing Engineering, HNC/D Manufacturing Engineering
Hobbies: Football, snooker, golf and all competitive sports.