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Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes, 56, is an assembly operative at Siemens. He spent 31 years with BAE Systems as a machinist and assembly fitter on programmes including the Hawk, Harrier and Nimrod, before being made redundant in 2011. He lives in North Lincolnshire.

I’d read a lot in the news about the Siemens development at Alexandra Dock in Hull since the project was announced, but it was only last year, when they promoted their recruitment days, that I started to think seriously about applying for a role there.

Being in the manufacturing industry most of my working life, I knew a few people who were also interested, so we all decided to go down to the recruitment events and find out a bit more about the opportunities available. Since being made redundant in 2011 when BAE Systems’ Brough site ceased production of the Nimrod, I’d just picked up work where I could. I’d done driving jobs and worked a quality inspector, which wasn’t utilising the skills I had built up in my career. I thought Siemens could be a new challenge for me.

I was able to ask questions, gather information and find out more about the Siemens’ job application process at the recruitment events. I was given a link to the company’s recruitment portal, where I could submit an online application. However, my IT skills are limited to say the least, so when I attempted to apply for jobs online, I didn’t have much luck. That’s when I booked an appointment with a team member at the Green Port Hub, at Hull’s Central Library, to get some guidance.

The team at The Hub were fantastic. Not only did they guide me through the Siemens application process, but they also took the time to review my CV and give me a few pointers to help tailor it for the roles I was interested in.

The advice I was given was so valuable. Once my applications were submitted, I was notified at each stage of the process as to whether I needed to undertake a test, whether I’d reached the next stage, or whether I’d been shortlisted for interview, as well as given news of any new vacancies. The communication was excellent and everything ran smoothly, as the training I’d been given at The Hub meant I could manage this all from my desk at home.

In April, I was delighted to find out that I’d secured a role as an assembly operative in the finishing section of the turbine factory. It’s going to be a new challenge for me and will give me a new chance at working life at the age of 56. I start on July 20th and cannot wait.”