Russell Roof Tiles’ maintenance manager pushes for new blood

Otto Mathiesen is the maintenance manager at Russell Roof Tiles.
Otto Mathiesen is the maintenance manager at Russell Roof Tiles.

A former apprentice who has become a maintenance manager at Russell Roof Tiles is appealing for young people to consider a career in engineering.

Otto Mathiesen began working at Russell Roof Tiles as an apprentice 11 years ago. He started out running the machines as an operator and from there, honed his engineering skills further as a fitter before going on to run shifts as a supervisor and ultimately becoming maintenance manager.

During his time at the company, Otto has achieved additional qualifications, including an Institute of Leadership & Management in Leadership to support his career progression, and is supporting Burton and South Derbyshire College to promote their courses within engineering and manufacturing.

With Russell Roof Tiles recently recruiting three new apprentices, Otto has voiced his passion for helping tackle the skills shortage within the industry.

“There’s a massive skills shortage in engineering,” he said. “I think it’s important for young people to realise that university isn’t the only option. An apprenticeship in a heavy industrial manufacturing environment is exciting! There’s plenty of things to learn, from welding and fabrication to electrics, fault finding and mechanical engineering – the opportunities are endless.

“I would definitely encourage more women to consider a career in the engineering industry. It is so often a male dominated environment but there are many opportunities and I think it’s important to break down those barriers.”

Otto continued: “I would urge more young people, regardless of gender, to start thinking about jobs in our sector because it can often be overlooked. You’ll not only be earning money and learning, but you’ll also be developing your career. It doesn’t just stop with your apprenticeship either – it’s the years after – the more hours and hard work you put in, the better you can develop yourself and your career.”

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