Finding your own path
“My parents wanted me to have an easy life. They were looking out for me. They wanted me to be in a warm office not on a building site,” says Tony, 45, who grew up in Dagenham. “I went straight from school at 16 into a job in insurance. But I found the work mundane and I couldn’t see myself going anywhere.”
At 19, he decided to leave insurance and go to study as an electrician. “I worked while I studied to put myself through college and I was able to move back in with my parents,” he says. “They supported me all the way when they saw how much I enjoyed meeting people and learning - you’ll never be a perfect electrician, there’s always something new to find out. I still enjoy it to this day.”
Variety in running a business
Another aspect of his job he enjoys is the variety of different places he visits. “Today, I’m fitting some lights in a dungeon in a castle,” he says. His work covers commercial and domestic buildings as well as upgrading social housing and working on schools.