My journey with Aico started not as an employee, but when I left sixth form and joined the electrical industry in 2002, as a fresh-faced apprentice.
At first, leaving the structure of education and going into the world of construction felt daunting. However, I quickly turned my hand to the practical and theoretical mind as an apprentice learning his trade. Stepping into the office on my first day I was issued my uniform, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and assigned to an electrician to shadow and learn from.
For the first twelve months of my apprenticeship, I worked as a contractor for my local Council installing Aico’s mains-powered smoke alarms into properties that previously only had battery detection. I instantly recognised the benefits of providing safer homes.
As I progressed through my career and on into management, I continually worked with products from Aico, as they continued to innovate. As a contractor, we had regular support from Aico via their Regional Specification Managers (RSMs). After spending 22 years in construction, 12 of which were in management, I felt I needed a change to reinvigorate myself. I wanted to explore new and different ways of working and proactively challenge myself to see if I could practice what I learned in construction, in other areas.
I was approached by Aico in November 2022 to fulfil the role of RSM due to an internal promotion at the company. Aico’s stature in the market is well known. Being Europe’s Market Leader in Home Life Safety, the decision to join the business was easy.
Walking into the building on the first day and seeing the awards proudly on display is not only inspiring, but it really hit home that I had joined something special. The business is filled with passionate people who want to see their peers succeed. Aico’s values are lived daily through the team and are at the core of everything they do.
Aico provides a series of company-wide team development days, which includes new start days and team building days, along with peer-to-peer learning by job sharing and shadowing. These have massively helped me transition from the construction industry to a sales environment.
My role at Aico involves me working with local authorities and housing providers within my region, which covers the South of England, to support the specification of domestic fire and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as our Environmental Sensors. By working with local authorities and housing providers and all parts of their supply chain, our aim is to deliver safer, healthier homes. Having a dedicated team of 29 RSMs who cover the whole of the UK helps to ensure the best level of customer support possible.
Effective protection relies on having the best alarms correctly installed, so I’m really proud to be able to deliver Aico’s Expert Installer Training to a wide range of the supply chain, from electrical contractors to students and apprentices. The training element of being an RSM is what I enjoy the most. I’ve always liked helping others progress and have always supported apprentices and adult learners throughout my career. Every day is different, being out on the road and meeting new people. I enjoy the trust and flexibility that you are given to manage the Region as an encouraged stakeholder within the business.
I attend a variety of industry events throughout the year such as conferences, trade shows and award events. These events provide a fantastic opportunity to connect with industry professionals and engage in important discussions around the housing sector.
Our Aico in the Community initiative gives colleagues the opportunity to get involved in CSR activities and actively encourages them to give back and work alongside communities through volunteering and fundraising days. This initiative is fantastic and I always jump at every opportunity provided to get involved. Recently I spent the day volunteering with Little Stars Baby Bank who provide support to vulnerable families all over Shropshire.
If you are thinking of making a significant change to your career, my suggestion is to trust yourself and take the leap!
Find out more about available roles with Aico here – www.aico.co.uk/about-us/careers/