TOM BALLS –
EXPERT SEAT FITTER
Tom joined us in 2003 after leaving school. Tom already knew about Newton Commercial after spending two weeks here on work experience. Originally starting in the stapling department but has since worked in most areas of the factory including panels, stores, cutting and for the last 10 years in the seat department. Tom now looks after our seat fitting department and will rebuild your seats to a better than new condition.
Toms main hobby is his love (or obsession) with anything mountain biking.
We asked Tom why he chose to develop himself through an apprenticeship.
- What did you learn from your apprenticeship?
I have learnt a lot about the processes of manufacturing. Alan from WS Training took pictures of processes so its easier to look back and review for learning. I have also learnt a lot about seat trimming and how to either build a brand new seat or refurbish a classic seat back to how it was originally! Some seats can even take a week to complete a full refurbishment like the early Morris Minor seats.
- How was your experience at Newton Commercial as an apprentice?
I started working at Newton Commercial long before the apprenticeship did so it was similar to what I had already done before. It did however give me the opportunity to further myself and gain an NVQ qualification.
- What happened at the end of your apprenticeship?
We completed all the work Alan had set and I received a certificate at NVQ level. Since my completion I have been a part of an ever growing seat fitting department which has seen the seats I produce be dispatched all other the world. I have also been recognised in many different industry magazines who have featured me in their “How to” articles and I have fitted seats as part of a display at some amazing shows. The sales team often use my expertise on how to fit seats to help customers and I'm happy to speak on the phone with customers who aren't sure where to begin.