Dave Barrow, 32, senior mechanical engineer, Kimberly-Clark, Barrow.
Dave Barrow found his perfect job in his hometown. But his 17-year career at Kimberly Clark has still taken him on a journey in which he has overseen multimillion pound projects, earned a degree and travelled the world.
Dave, 32, has spent his whole working life at Kimberly-Clark and says the company has supported him every step of the way. “I joined in 1998 as a mechanical maintenance apprentice for four years,” said Dave, who still lives in Barrow.
“I did a Higher National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and and then got a staff position as technician and I’ve been in engineering ever since. I went back to college in 2011 and did a degree in business and project management and now I’m a senior mechanical engineer. I got half a day off a week to do the degree and the company paid for the degree for three years and fully supported me.
“The opportunities in terms of career development have been pretty good. The average age has come down of people working here. A lot of people who have retired and there have been openings for younger guys.
“If you identify something you want to do you will get full support. If there is something you want to do and you can justify it then it will get the support it needs. There are a lot of people going through higher education at the moment.
“We just had big project signed off in the mill; a £13.5m investment in a new production line and I am the lead mechanical engineer.
"I have been doing quite a lot of travel with the company, back and forth to Italy working with the machine manufacturers. I have been to America and loads of places in Europe.
"There is a lot of support and focus for people moving around and so if you wanted to go and work Turkey or somewhere else for a few months then you might be able to. We are trying to move knowledge around and spread capabilities. There’s loads of opportunities for that.”
Dave says he has simply not found another employer or location to tempt him away from his job with Kimberly-Clark. “I like the area, I was born and bred here, this is where my friends and my family are and there is a really strong community,” he said.
“There is the Lakes on your doorstep which I enjoy quite a lot. There is loads going on, local football and community things happening all the time. People who work here socialise a lot with each other outside of work.
“There is a lot to be said for working somewhere that is only five minutes from home, it takes a lot of the stress out of life. I have a decent house and the crime rate around here is pretty low.”
“I like to do quite a bit of walking in the Lake District, a bit of running and swimming,” said Dave. “Just last week I had a good walk up Grizedale Forest and you have the seaside right on your doorstep. There is always something coming up.
"The next walk I am going to do is Scafell Pike (the highest mountain in England in the nearby Lake District). Hopefully we are organising a work trip to go up Coniston Old Man as well, they are always popular and you usually get 20 or 30 people turn up.”
Click here for Kimberly-Clark careers in South Cumbria.
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