There's "never a dull moment" at EMR Coventry, according to ELV (End of Life Vehicle) Operative Jade Thompson.
The site is amongst the busiest vehicle recycling facilities in the UK and Jade’s role involves depolluting cars to ensure they are both safe and clean compliant, prior to onward processing.
“Every end-of-life vehicle (ELV) is different and, as my experience is growing, I’m learning that some vehicles are easier to depollute than others,” says Jade.
Excellent customer service is at the heart of EMR’s business model and is another important element of Jade’s everyday role: “My approach is to treat customers how I would like to be treated. Some customers come in regularly, which is great because we can build a rapport with them. For people who are bringing in a vehicle for the first time, it’s bit different – we have to guide them through the process and make it as easy as possible, so they come again or tell their friends about EMR in the future.”
As EMR continues to transition to net-zero (by 2040, in line within EMR’s Sustainability Strategy), Jade has also been able to use the site’s first all-electric forklift truck - an investment that replaces those which run on fossil fuels.
“I operated a forklift truck in my last job but never had the opportunity to use a modern, electrified vehicle like this,” she says.
It’s just one example of the progress that Jade feels she has achieved since joining EMR.
“I've only been working with EMR for a year and a half, and I've already achieved a lot. I've been trained to operate the shear; I've been operating the loading shovel and I'm quite confident in the non-ferrous side of the business too. I jump at the chance of any bit of training that's thrown at me,” she adds.
These opportunities are another reason why Jade is enjoying life working for EMR: “At my previous job, I couldn't see any room for progression – where I was at was where I would stay. One of the big reasons I came to EMR is the amount of training and development that is on offer – it’s just amazing.”
Jade is aware that, although the industry is changing fast, she is still working in a traditionally male-dominated workplace. And it is something she embraces: “I’ve always worked in jobs where I’ve had a lot of male colleagues – whether it was during my time in the army or in my previous roles.
“As far as I’m concerned, women can do any job that a man can. It’s good to see all the other women who are working at the yard, too, because we can prove we’re able to do the work just as well as the men.”
Jade believes her time with the military has also provided her with a set of skills which she can apply to her role with EMR: “It gave me a lot of experience of problem solving and looking outside the box. So, if I've got a problem, I look at all the different ways I might be able to solve it – there’s always a solution and the one you think of first isn’t necessarily the best one. That's the way I was trained.”
As Jade looks to further her career in the months and years ahead, she believes EMR has the right atmosphere to help her develop: “Everyone is really welcoming. We’re always laughing, and I know I can go to any of them and ask for help. I’ve been in roles in the past where I've been too shy to approach colleagues, so you don't really seek help when you need it. At EMR, we’re all one team and we all make sure that no one is left struggling.”