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08 Nov 2021
If Carlsberg did Engineering teams, they’d need to use the name Carling...which might be awkward.
We took a moment to meet a brother and sister duo taking the Stagecoach Highlands Engineering team by storm - Daniel and Samantha Carling both work in Inverness Depot.
Samantha (28) originally joined the company in 2014 as a Travel Shop Clerk, in 2018 she took the leap to join the Engineering Admin team and is now involved in a development programme which she hopes will lead her to an Engineering Management role with the company in the future.
Talking about her time with the company, Samantha said: “I had doubts I would be capable of doing the Engineering Admin role when I started it back in 2018 as I didn’t have any real computer experience. I left school to work as a waitress/housekeeper. Looking back over the last 3 years I can’t believe how much I’ve been able to learn about all the systems we use in Engineering, the process and regulations we follow as well as what I now know about the mechanics of buses!”
Speaking about the development opportunity, Samantha added: “I was really excited when I found out our Chief Engineer wanted to give me this development opportunity. I’m quite nervous about it as I made the assumption that Engineering Managers need to come up the ranks through the workshop but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity with support from Dave.”
When asked about how she feels working in a very male-dominated department of the business Samantha said: “I don’t even notice it. I’ve got a lot of respect in the depot and everyone is treated the same.”, Samantha jokingly added “Maybe it helps that I manage all the holidays in the depot – the Engineers know to be nice to me if they want their time off!”
Samantha’s brother, Daniel (26) joined the company just over a year ago in the midst of the pandemic following redundancy from his role as a chef, which he had worked as for 10 years. Daniel is now in the role of Labourer, having joined the Engineering team as a Shunter.
Talking about the career change, Daniel said: “I didn’t realise how much working 10am – 10pm shifts as a chef was impacting on my life outside of work. When I started with Stagecoach I could really see the improvement in the time I could spend with my friends and family outside work and I’d not change that. Working in the workshop is a lot colder than in a kitchen though – that took some adjustment!”
Daniel is about to start his apprenticeship which will further develop the skills he’s gained over the last 12 months.
Commenting on the opportunity, Daniel said: “I am really looking forward to working on this and becoming qualified. I really didn’t think I could do it but the support I’ve had from the Engineers in the workshop has been amazing so far and I’ll do everything I can to show Dave he was right to believe in me.”
Dave Simpson joined the Stagecoach Highlands team in April 2021 as Chief Engineer, having worked for Stagecoach for an impressive 14 years. In 2007 Dave started as an apprentice mechanic in Perth and has developed through a range of roles working at various depots in East Scotland and Manchester before taking up his latest role in the Highlands operating company.
Talking about the Carling siblings in his team, Dave said: “When I joined the business I quickly noticed the great work ethic that Samantha and Daniel share. Both pride themselves in their work and nothing I ask is ever any bother for them.
“Developing our existing staff is something that is a must especially when you have staff like these two. I myself would not be where I am today if it wasn't for my original Engineering Manager and previous Engineering Director in East Scotland spending the time to guide, mentor and push me on. I am delighted to now be in a position to do the same for others and look forward to watching them both progress.”
Picture below: Samantha and Daniel Carling at Inverness Depot.