Prospect members: keeping Britain safe

Prospect member Emma is an audit manager for Babcock at Devonport Royal Dockyard. She explains why she loves working in the Marine sector and how her branch is thriving.

I work within the marine sector, where we work hard to ensure the UK Royal Navy goes to sea safely by supporting their ships and crew around the world, through the delivery of complex ship and submarine sustainment programmes.

We deliver marine technology solutions to improve our customers’ complex, safety-critical operations, and most importantly we aid in keeping the country safe and secure.

Specifically, I ensure audits are completed against the audit plan across the site. Audits are undertaken against the quality systems standard – ISO9001. It’s important to ensure that these audits are undertaken, to meet our customer contractual requirements.

Why I love my job

I absolutely love my job, auditing and managing audits, because of how social the job is. I meet a raft of different people who work in various areas such as warships and submarines and learn more and more about what people do during each of the audits I undertake.

I get a sense of job satisfaction when completing an audit and I am thanked for providing useful recommendations on how to improve a process or for identifying something key that could have ended up in a tricky situation.

To the marine sector…from a fashion degree

I started out doing a fashion degree at Lincoln University. I wanted to go into the fashion industry and went for a small admin job at an insurance company to tide me over until that opportunity came up. I didn’t get offered that job, but off the back of my interview I was offered an auditor’s job (I had zero experience!).

From then on I found my love for auditing. I went on to work as a lead auditor for DHL until I moved to Cornwall, where I now work at Babcock.  You don’t grow up wanting to be an auditor, but I certainly love the job that I do and wouldn’t change it.

Successful member recruitment

I’ve been a Prospect member since I joined the company three and a half years ago, and I have been a Prospect rep for around 12 months.

I recently became the recruitment secretary for Prospect Devonport in January 2020, and jumped at the chance of arranging an event to recruit more members. Myself and a number of other reps arranged a recruitment day as part of Heart Unions Week.

To entice new members we advertised the three months free membership, as well as giving away a free thermos bottle to the first 20 new joiners. They were gone within the first half an hour of the day.

In total we recruited a staggering 52 members over the one day. We wouldn’t have had the success without the other reps all helping out and the leadership of the branch Prospect Secretary, Del Northcott.

It’s important to be a union member so that workers join together and unite to negotiate better deals within the workplace. Whether this be pension rates, family friendly policies, pay increases, or better working conditions. The union does so much for the workplace, and one of our recent big successes is reducing the working week from 37 to 36 hours.

I joined the union to protect myself. I used the union for a personal case, and couldn’t fault the advice and support I received. This encouraged me to become a rep in the first place.

The amount of effort and work ethic that goes in to supporting the workforce to provide a happier and safer place to work is second to none. Del Northcott and Pete Lawrence lead the way at DRDL and do a fantastic job with their wealth of knowledge and expertise.

Could you get involved with Prospect like Emma?

Prospect needs active members like Emma to help us become stronger as a union, leading to more change in your workplace. Could you be a part of that?
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