Ben Newnham, Production Manager
BEN: "I began working in the Brick industry in April 1997 for what was then Baggeridge Brick. My first job was cleaning and maintaining kiln cars at the Waresley plant. After 12 months I was offered a position on a '4 on-4 off' shift cycle as a Spare Man. During this time, I picked up various skills on machinery around the plant including Extruder, Soft Mud Machine, Finger Car, Setter, Dehacker and Signode. Some may say I became a jack of all trades!
"After spending around five years moving around various machines and improving my skills, I was offered the chance to train as a Relief Foreman by my Shift Manager. I was keen to take this chance and accepted straight away. As luck would have it, the Production Foreman moved on and I took over his role, spending the next 6 years in that position.
"My next career opportunity came when the Waresley Plant was looking to appoint a Process Manager. After being convinced I could carry out the role successfully - I applied - and got the job!
"After a couple of years the role developed into a Continuous Improvement Manger role. I enjoyed the new challenge and felt I made a positive contribution to the plant but I yearned to get back to being involved with the day to day running of the shifts. So, when an opportunity arose at the newly opened H2 plant, I jumped at the chance of leading a shift again. I have been in my current role for nearly 18 months and although there are no quiet days, I enjoy my work very much.
"There are many pressures involved with the day to day running of a shift, with many central departments looking to push Wienerberger forward including Health & Safety, Quality, Continuous Improvement and Energy. They are all implementing projects and new initiatives which require our time and attention, not to mention the extra training which has come our way over the last 2 years."