Jade Richardson was once keeping her career options open when she was studying Health & Beauty and Plumbing! She is now a Smart Meter Engineer and Technical Specialist at Morrison Utility Services overseeing and supporting a team of 20 engineers. Find out more about Jade's qualification and her journey in the energy and utilities sector.
Jade Richardson, Smart Meter Engineer and Technical Specialist, Morrison Utility Services
Tell us about your role...
I am a Smart Meter Engineer and Technical Specialist for Morrison Utility Services (MUS). As I am a technical specialist, I provide technical support to other engineers - helping them if they run into difficulties, signing off new engineers who I think are competent to continue as engineers and managing work in progress (WIP). Generally, I make sure that the work we do is done right, is of good quality and our engineers follow the procedures for safety and quality.
Why is your role important?
I provide support. It’s a really important part of being a team that works well together. When you are working on your own there is only one person to call so I need to be able to help the engineer sort out the problem. I have 17 engineers who can call on me and there are 50 engineers in total working in London. There is a good chance they might all ring me! The way I see it is that we want to avoid aborting jobs, where we simply close down a job we cannot do. If I can provide support, say for example, helping an engineer resolve a problem by using Facetime, I’ll do it. I can see the bigger picture and it keeps everyone happy and motivated.
"I was studying Health & Beauty and Plumbing. I thought I should keep my options open!"
Which parts of the job do you enjoy most or find most rewarding?
I like helping and being able to offer a different way of looking at something. It doesn’t have to be work related! My aim is to keep everything running smoothly. I like being organised and I am very precise about what needs doing and how to go about it. I had a management role in retail and I think some of that is coming into this role now, especially dealing with problems and helping people become self-reliant.
What path did you use to get the position you hold today?
I studied plumbing and found a local company who could support me through my Level 2 and 3 qualifications. I also became Gas Safe qualified and worked for five years installing central heating systems. Physically it was hard work especially moving boilers up flights of stairs but I did it! Then I applied for this role and was successful. MUS has provided training in electrical installation which I passed with flying colours according to my Supervisor. I’ve been working for MUS for just over a year and was promoted three months ago which isn’t bad.
What did you do before?
I starting my working life in retail and was studying Health & Beauty and Plumbing at the same time as working. I thought I should keep my options open!
Jade Richardson, Smart Meter Engineer Technical Specialist, Morrison Utility Services
Has it met or exceeded your expectations?
It has definitely been the best job I’ve had. I’ve had training to increase my skills and as a lone worker I have lots of support and steps put in place to keep me safe. I am also looking at my next step up! I’ve worked hard to get where I am and I love it but I know there is more that I can do if I want to.
I’ve also just been awarded a company award for Going the Extra Mile for a customer. An elderly gentleman I went to had no power or heating in January, he had just one candle and a radio. I contacted his housing association and they did not know, he had never complained and no one had ever checked. I arranged for the housing association to put him up in a hotel while the necessary work was done on his flat.
What advice would you give to the people reading this article who want to work in a similar field?
Step out of your comfort zone, you never know what could happen and I never thought I would be where I am today. MUS recruits Apprentice Meter Engineers which means you get all of the training while earning and can become a fully qualified engineer in two years, which is quicker than the way I did it.