Back in 2006, when Mitchell Cooney responded to a job advert for a trainee technician at Justice Fire & Security, little did he know then, that not only would he be offered the position but, 15 years later, his career at the company would be thriving.
“It’s the only place that I have worked since leaving school,” says Mitchell who began by serving a three-year apprenticeship, culminating in an NVQ Level 3 accreditation.
“It was a really interesting and rewarding time,” he recalls. “I was going to college one day a week but getting great practical instruction from the company’s experienced engineers, many of whom are still here today,” he adds.
Within 18 months of his arrival, thanks to an unexpected vacancy, Mitchell was propelled into the service team – “in at the deep end” as he describes it - but it was just the sort of challenge that he excelled at.
Today, Mitchell is one of a number of conscientious, long-standing service engineers within the company, handling anything from small fire alarm systems to big warehouse CCTV installations. “We have an extremely loyal customer base. In fact, many of the premises I visit were clients with Justice Fire before I was even born!
“The demand for CCTV has grown a massive amount since I first started. With so many insurance companies requiring businesses to have CCTV monitoring, it is down to us to make sure it is properly maintained at all times.”
For the time being, this has meant working within virtually deserted premises, which initially took a bit of getting used to. “To see somewhere that employs maybe 800 people, now reduced to a team of 20 or 30 on site was strange. As key workers, we just carry on regardless,” Mitchell reflects.
Away from work, Mitchell has a busy home life. The father of six-year-old twin girls means a lot of his weekend time is devoted to ferrying them around to dance classes etc. One thing he has missed, however, is not being able to get to Villa Park to see Aston Villa play, the team he has supported since boyhood.
“The sooner they relax the Covid restrictions and allow fans back in the ground, the better,” he says.
Times have certainly changed since Mitchell answered that job advert all those years ago.