RB: What is your favourite holiday destination?
IR: The Isle of Harris, Scotland. It has poor phone signal and rains so much it reminds me of home. It’s a real busman’s holiday.
RB: What car do you drive?
IR: A Jaguar XF.
RB: What are your hobbies?
IR: Walking and motorcycling.
RB: How did you get into the industry?
IR: My sister married a farmer, and as a teenager I spent most weekends riding my motorcycle on their 600-acre farm. That got me into agricultural machinery, and I went onto agricultural college - if it was made of steel and had an engine, I was interested. I then joined the Royal Engineers as a plant mechanic, where the toys just got bigger. Large commercial vehicles and plant have always been an itch that needs scratching.
RB: How would you encourage more young people into the industry?
IR: Inject some glamour by focusing on technological opportunities. It’s not only about grease and oil, but also software platforms, design software, and advanced electronics. All government-led advertising on apprenticeships depict teenagers in suits and uniforms. Why not show a teenager with a diagnostic tool connected to a truck or loader crane, cutting or folding steel and creating components?
RB: What will be the outlook for your sector of the market over the next 12 months?
IR: We need the feel-good factor for a healthy economy but there’s a degree of uncertainty at the moment, not least because of the distraction caused by the general election. In the next few months I expect the economy to settle again for 12 months, with stability if not slight growth.
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