Dave Pucknell, 47, lecturer in electrical installation and engineering at Furness College.
Since moving to South Cumbria and taking up a job at Furness College, Dave Pucknell has enjoyed the satisfaction of helping generations of apprentices start their careers.
Dave first moved to Barrow from London 13 years ago in search of a better life for him and his family. After working as an electrician in various roles he took up a position as a lecturer in electrical installation and engineering six years ago.
“The engineering sector within the college want people from industry, because we are not just teaching them about how to wire things up it is about preparing them for the workplace,” said Dave.
“From an electrical point of view there is a lot of opportunity here. We have got the windfarms on our doorstep and BAE is progressing a lot at the moment with the Successor programme.
"The number of apprentices coming here each year has tripled in the time I have been here. We are giving them a little bit of a grounding because the electrical industry is going off in all sorts of different directions.
“There is a job satisfaction when you play a part in helping a student get a job. I will bump into some students after they’ve been gone 18 months or two years and they’ve grown up and you maintain some good relationships with them.
“I used to enjoy going to work and wiring things up and making them work and that gave me job satisfaction, but this is a lot better.”
Dave said he and wife Louise, 46, have found the work-life balance they sought when they moved to South Cumbria. The area has proved a healthy and active place to bring up their four boys George, 16, Oliver, 14, Adam, nine, and Max, seven.
“We decided to start having children and life became a bit hectic and that’s why we moved up for that work-life balance,” said Dave.
“You can get a decent job that is pretty close to where you are living. In London I used to drive an hour and a half or two hours to work. To do that and get home, that is four hours on your working day.
“When our eldest son was born he was with a childminder all day and when we came home someone else had looked after the baby all day and all we got was to feed him and put him to bed and that’s it.
“This is a different pace of life and a different lifestyle all together. I come out of the house and I cycle down here every morning and I am here in five minutes; it’s ideal.
“The schools my children have gone to are all one class intake and at bigger schools I think it can be easy to get lost in the system, so they’ve definitely benefited from having that school community. I think that comes through to the college as well. Even though we have grown we are trying to be a community hub.”
Since moving to the area, Dave has been able to get involved in new activities, mainly cycling. “It is the ideal place to be if you are into your cycling,” said Dave. “We’ve got a group of lecturers and ex-staff and we do a charity ride every year. In the past we’ve raised money for Macmillan nurses, to buy a mobility scooter for a local lad, and this year it is for St Mary’s Hospice (in Ulverston). This year we are starting off from York and then down to Lincoln and then across to Bakewell and then across to Chester.
“My lads play football for various different teams. My second eldest plays for Furness Rovers, and my younger two play for Furness Cavaliers and so our Saturdays are mainly taken up with getting them around to their football matches.”
Click here for Furness College careers in South Cumbria.
Subscribe to our newsletter: get a glimpse of what it's really like to live and work in Cumbria.