Simon Wood: From CatZero to Spencer Group

After one year into his career with Spencer Group, we caught up with former CatZero trainee Simon Wood. Simon joined Spencer on 27th October 2014 and has become a valued employee in his role as First Line Support, in the multidisciplinary Engineering company’s IT Department.

“I have come a long way in the past year and I have learnt some great things and worked with some really good, friendly people who were very supportive in my early days. My time at CatZero was invaluable; the staff are fantastic and would do anything to get the best out of you. The induction task I particularly enjoyed – a group of us, who had never met one another before were taken to Melton Scouts camp, we had to give up our personal belongings and undertake numerous tasks throughout the day. We were then assessed on how well we had adapted through our teamwork and ingenuity.” Recalls Simon.

CatZero’s Delivery Manager, Sean Cahill said: “Simon showed great teamwork and interpersonal skills to be selected for the CatZero programme out of a large group of applicants. We were very happy to select him to join the course as we felt he demonstrated a motivated attitude and a supportive and encouraging demeanour when working with other team members. Simon was an excellent student while on the CatZero programme. He made sure that he took every opportunity offered to him, in which he showed a very calm and controlled nature throughout what is a very challenging personal development programme.”

CatZero use their 72 foot yacht to take young people outside of their comfort zone, putting them into a unique challenging situation. Their belief is that sailing brings you back to fundamentals and putting young people in this situation brings out the best in them and they often surprise themselves; something that Simon admitted to when he undertook the week-long, 4 hours-on 4 hours-off sail down from Hull to the Isle of Wight.

During Simon’s time at CatZero he was applying for numerous jobs but it was a role within IT that he really wanted. When Spencer began advertising for a First Line Support role to join their busy IT Services team, Simon jumped at the chance and with the help of CatZero, got himself an interview.

Paul Furnival, Head of IT Services said: “What sets a good I.T. Technician apart from a mediocre I.T. Technician isn’t necessarily the technical knowledge. The provision of I.T. Services is more about the service than the technology. Someone who has the technical knowledge but also a good level of Soft Skills gets on better with the users and, consequently, provides a higher level of service.

“Simon’s technical abilities (gained through previous work placements and an IT Apprenticeship) where complimented with other skills he had gained from CatZero allowing him to come across in the interview as a confident person who communicated well. These attributes set him above the other candidates and Simon is now a valued member of a busy and efficient team.”

Simon said: “Spencer value their staff and always aim to help you achieve what you want to achieve and through their help, my IT knowledge has grown significantly and allowed me to improve and become more efficient in my work.”

When asked where he saw himself in five years, Simon replied: “My ambition is to progress into Spencer’s Second Line Support and become more involved with our projects and their setups, whilst working towards a Team Leader position.”