Skip to main content

Engineer drives on into teaching

ENGINEER Allan Cooper is changing gear for a job in teaching after spending 24 years working on the shop floor at Ford.

Mr Cooper, 52, is one of three Ford workers losing their jobs at the car manufacturer's Dagenham plant who are planning a classroom career.

He is taking a certificate of education course at nearby Havering College with a view to teaching information technology and electronics engineering.

His job as an electrical engineer involved training other workers in the use of new equipment. "I enjoyed imparting my knowledge and seeing other people gain. It gave me a buzz," he said.

Voluntary teaching at a disabled centre and support from his wife Christine, who assesses new teachers, also helped him decide on the career switch.

Mr Cooper, from Purfleet, Essex, began his career as an electrician in the maintenance department, but soon became an electrical engineer. Ford is contributing pound;2,500 towards his teacher-training courses as part of his redundancy package.

The company is shedding 1,100 jobs as it ends 70 years of vehicle production at Dagenham.

Another manager taking redundancy is doing a part-time teacher- training course at Epping College, and a third worker is training to become a classroom assistant.

Jeff Body, operations manager at Ford, said: "Building a car involves teamwork and respect for your fellow workers. Anyone who works in engineering is continually having to learn new skills and our trainers have developed a range of expertise that would serve them well in a teaching role."

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you