Russ Jones, a shift manager at the now closed Kellingley Colliery, was one of the miners featured in BBC1’s documentary on the pit that’s demise marked the end of British deep coal mining. He is now a trainee account manager with JCT600.
In January 2016, Russ, who had worked at the colliery for 34 years, started a new part time job at Mercedes-Benz York delivering vehicles around the UK for JCT600’s fleet operation.
Neill Richards, fleet sales director for JCT600 explains: “Having known Russ for many years, I was saddened when I heard the mine was closing and that he would be losing his job. It’s incredibly hard to have to change careers after over 30 years, but I knew Russ was a reliable, hard working guy who would be an asset to any business. As we had a temporary position for a driver, I was happy to help.”
In June, Russ accepted a permanent full-time position with the company and has gone on to be promoted to the role of trainee account manager for the fleet department at Mercedes-Benz York.
Neill Richards continued: “Over the last 12 months, Russ has done a sterling job and has now been given a well-earned promotion. While the story of the closure of the colliery is a poignant one, I hope that Russ’ new career demonstrates that there are always opportunities with forward-looking companies who are prepared to invest in re-training hard working people with potential.”
Russ Jones added: “Having worked for the same company for so long, it was really daunting to have to start again, but the people at JCT600 have been brilliant. I had to forge new relationships and learn about a completely different industry, but it’s all about doing the best you can.
“I was really lucky to get this opportunity and JCT600 have supported me all the way along. I’ve had lots of help and on-the-job training, everyone’s really friendly and I’m learning all the time.”