“A great way of helping people develop an understanding of working life” – Scott Gray, NATS

by | Sep 30, 2019 | News, Volunteer Story

“I’m an Air Traffic Controller. The company I work for is called NATS (National Air Traffic Services). NATS provide air traffic control services across most of the UK. I work at the control tower building at Heathrow Airport. I’ve worked for NATS for 22 years. In that time I have worked in several different roles at different locations. For the last 10 years I have been at Heathrow, where alongside my day job I am also an instructor, examiner and a supervisor”.

“My eldest daughter was in Year 7 when Worktree attended her school. She enjoyed it and talked about the different people she met. This included someone who left school with few qualifications who now ran their own property maintenance business. She was really impressed by their work ethic and determination. It gave her ideas of her own for what she could do in adult life. She told me I’d be good at these sessions, which was a great compliment to receive from her! She even loaded the website for me to look at. For many years I’d been involved as an adult volunteer at their primary school. In that time I was asked if I could explain my job to the children. I would involve subjects such as maths and problem solving that they could understand to help explain the technical decisions made by air traffic controllers. This was received well and it was rewarding to see their enthusiasm for real life work and decision making”.

“My daughters attend Oakgrove School. I have been to sessions across Milton Keynes since I started volunteering with Worktree. Although the schools are different I have found the enthusiasm from the students to be consistent. The facilitator is good at managing the question sessions so the students can learn about workplace experiences as well as the jobs. For example, students can ask questions about how you manage time keeping, manage risk in your job, how you report things you are concerned about, how you felt if you were unsuccessful in applying for a job or promotion and what you did about it. It’s all designed to give them a broad understanding of all the factors involved in work. No two sessions I have attended have yet been the same – there is a large variety in them which is good”.

“I really enjoy my job and these sessions make me feel positive about what I do. I feel I’m contributing to their preparedness for entering the world of work. For many students this is the first time they have engaged with people from the workplace aside from their teaching staff and own parents. So the opportunity for them to meet new people and learn how to present themselves is good. While the students may not necessarily be interested in the job that you do, they will learn from your experiences of your own work history. I did not attend university and don’t have a degree and for some students this intrigues them given what I do. Many are keen to learn about apprenticeships, distance learning courses, other training programmes and work opportunities. This is why it is important to have as broad a range of volunteers as possible”.

“This is a great way to give some of your time to help people develop an understanding of what they need to consider for their working life. You will be helping people to start thinking of what choices they need to make and what they need to do in order to achieve their aims. The sessions are relatively short, well run and they are frequent through the academic year. So there are many opportunities to be involved”.

If you would like to volunteer in a one-hour Career WorkOut session, go to www.worktree.org/events.

“A great way to help people develop an understanding of working life” – Scott Gray, NATS

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