People Focus

People Focus | Mark Everson

People Focus

People Focus Mark Everson

Whenever we write a ‘people piece’ not only does it provide us with a chance to show our customers and prospect customers the experience our team has but it also provides a chance for us to really understand the depth of knowledge and sheer enthusiasm that our team has for the subject they practice or train in. This is especially true of our Technical Trainer, Mark Everson. We caught up with Mark (on a rare non-training day!) to learn more about his work experience and how he came to be part of the furniture at MCP. You can read his story here…

Early Years

Mark is originally from Merthyr Tydfil and completed his apprenticeship there as an electrical installation engineer with a local contractor. He loved the subject so much that just studying while on the job was not enough for him, so he also completed as many evening courses as he could as well. His initial experience saw him completing electrical installations in industrial and commercial units, as well as factories and hospitals. He also had the opportunity to work in an army barracks which was like a mini village, including ammunition compounds, firing ranges and other military areas. In fact, he ranks this diverse opportunity as one of the highlights of his early career.

All Change

Around 1982, the electrical regulations changed and while at college studying these in 1984, Mark was offered the chance to do something else – lecturing! He had already achieved as many qualifications as he could in his line of work and this change of direction brought some added rewards, such as the possibility of 13 weeks holiday, but more importantly to Mark, he could also complete as many courses as he wanted to!

This job provided Mark with the opportunity to gain experience in teaching and gain his teaching certificate. He was also the youngest to qualify for this in his field. During this study period he began teaching apprentices, they were not much younger than Mark himself, and he was a great role model having done so well, so young.

Teaching opened up new areas for Mark to excel in, it also meant he needed to start wearing glasses with so many papers to mark!

Skill Centres

On completion of his studies Mark felt that there would not be much progression working for the College and moved on to what was known in those days as Skill Centres. These Government run Centres enabled mainly unemployed people to train or retrain in skilled areas of work. Mark liked the sound of this and went to work for the Centre in Slough in 1986, while his wife and young family remained in Wales.

The traveling and being away from home took its toll, so Mark looked for something closer to home. However, when he tried to hand his notice in, his manager was horrified and offered a particularly good package for him to stay and relocate his family to Gloucester. Here he worked with a number of private organisations, hosting 12-week intense Mechanical to Electrical (M2E) programmes and electronics courses. One of his main customers was Birds Eye Wall’s (owned by Unilever). While this factory was busy making ice cream during the summer months, he also worked with Clarks Shoes, BAE, Severn Trent, the MOD and Southampton Dockyard. The experience he gained here was to bode very well when it came to him moving to MCP, later down the line.

Mark really enjoyed this work, especially as he had the chance to design the short courses himself, to be tailored to each customer. However, the Skill Centres were sold by the Government to the senior management and became Astra Training Services. The non-profitable centres were soon closed but Gloucester remained as it was the oldest and most successful. However, after 3 years the whole company was bankrupt, and Mark was sadly made redundant.

Mark M2E Solihull
Mark teaching Mechanical to Electrical Skills, Part 1

Rewind 18 Months

18 months earlier Mark had resumed teaching in the evenings for two local colleges. Upon hearing that he was available to work full-time, they both offered him additional hours. So, he decided to become self-employed, working for both, while also completing the odd re-wiring job in between!

Stroud college eventually asked him to work full time for them and he stayed there for another 4 years. Then the NVQ was introduced…

The Shift

This new NVQ framework meant a shift in working availability, there would be no more evening classes. So, Mark went back to being self-employed and the college became his client again, amongst others.

He was soon approached by a company called Clarkson Evans who asked him to come on board as a training manager and set up his own training department from scratch. It was here that Mark adapted courses to align with C&G requirements for accreditation. He also became involved with apprentices again, seeing them through 3 years of training. However, after a couple of years of working full on, with very little senior or admin support, Mark decided to give his notice.

The Gap

This then left a gap at Clarkson Evans, and they gave the training back to Mark and became his customer. He also contacted Water Treatment International (WTI) in York. Their clients included Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, and Glasgow airports. He soon became involved in designing and delivering their short courses for the industrial training division, on a freelance basis, and got to travel the country.

Home Based

By this time Mark’s children had fled the nest and his wife wanted to see more of Mark. Although Mark really enjoyed his time with WTI he contacted JTL (a previous client) who offered him a training officer role, working from home.

So, he converted a room into an office and for 2 years managed a programme for apprentices, visiting colleges and negotiating contracts for apprentices and electrical contractors. During this time, he was then contacted by one of the companies he worked with (ILEC Ltd) who offered him a Contracts Manager role. His previous trainees then became his colleagues, and he was known as the ‘technical guru’. He stayed here for 9 years until 2014.

What Good Looks Like

Through all the changes in direction during his career to date, Mark had now learned what good looked like. He had also been involved in the accreditation process for organisation such as NICEIC, ECA, Constructionline and Safe contractor. He heard that some past colleagues were taking their contracts to a company called PPL in York. Mark decided to jump on board and provide technical and health & safety training.

Something Different

He was then asked if he would be interested in working in Qatar for a few months. This really piqued his interest as it would be something new to experience. However, while he was waiting for the contract to start, he was also offered a job with Hoare Lea Building Services, they wanted Mark to join so much that they agreed to wait until he returned from Dubai.

Mark loved his time with Qatar Medical City, another career highlight for him, training their engineers to C&G level, on IET Regulations and inspection and testing. He had missed being in front of a class.

Hoare Lea were true to their word and Mark joined them in May 2016, working with architects on installations to industrial units, commercial and office conversions. This was another terrific opportunity for Mark to pull from his previous experience, as he was in charge of the design for electrical installations and subsequent tender processes.

Mark M2E Part 1 Group
Mark teaching Mechanical to Electrical Skills, Part 1

Here Comes MCP

All the while, training companies Mark had worked previously stayed in touch and through the grape vine he heard about MCP. He was particularly attracted to the role because we had recently won a contract with Dubai Airport which would provide him with a chance to travel again. So, he joined us in 2017 completing two rounds of 3-month training in Dubai in his first year with us.

Mark Today

Today, Mark is still traveling all over the country working with a huge range of our customers, predominantly delivering M2E parts 1-4, with their technical staff.

When asked what courses he enjoys most to teach, he simply said ‘all of them’! He feels that every course is unique, as are the groups he trains. If he really had to choose it would be electrical regulations and inspection training, as this is delivered to people who already have his original skill set, so he can easily relate to their work.

The Future

Looking to the future, Mark is not planning to retire just yet, even though his wife is ready to take that plunge. His daughter and grandchildren live in Australia and that is now their destination of choice when Mark does take time off.

He may well want to take things a bit slower in the future, but for now John (MCP Technical Training Director) keeps him busy with courses booked up months in advance. There is also an exciting move into larger premises on the cards!

For the foreseeable future, Mark will remain an essential part of the MCP furniture. He is definitely needed to continue to train the mechanical and electrical engineers of the future and provide them with the benefit of his extensive experience, unmoving enthusiasm for the subject he teaches and dedication to industry in general.