Portuguese South African Hugo has been living in the UK for nearly 20 years. His electrical and technical skills are now proving valuable to Southdowns’ workshop customers.
Q. What attracted you to work for Southdowns?
I had been working as a self-employed electrician for some time but the worry of having to make sure the work was regular and that I was going to get paid in time to cover the bills was starting to tell on me. I spent six months looking for the right job - one with more security and where I could use my technical skills to good effect. I know a couple of other South Africans who have Southdowns connections and was attracted to the company as a friendly, family-run business.
Q What are your key responsibilities?
I am employed as a motorhome technician in the Southdowns workshop, working on the living quarters of the motorhomes and I do a little bit of everything - habitation checks, damp checks and particularly electrical work. I work on all the internal systems and am learning something new all the time. I really like the hands-on aspect of fault-finding and carrying out repairs on the various installations. They are really just a miniature version of what you would have in a house or commercial building but the manufacturers are constantly introducing something new so we are all learning new techniques all the time.
Q What is the best thing about working for the company?
I’ve only been at Southdowns since March but I’m really enjoying the work and being part of a team. I like the security of working for an employer after being self-employed for so long and I also really keen to learn new skills so the variety of motorhomes we work on is keeping me on my toes. I particularly like the Baileys which are really spacious and homely.
Q. Do you have a personal interest in motorhomes?
I didn’t know anything about motorhomes before I joined the company but I am really enthusiastic about them now - I come from a family that really enjoys camping and this just takes that to a different level! I would love to take one to Spain and travel round the country - I’ve never been there even though I’ve got family in Portugal. I love the freedom of camping and my children would absolutely love sleeping in a motorhome.
Q. What do you do when you’re not at work? I love food and am a very keen cook. I’ll try anything once and particularly like making sushi. I’ve also spent a lot of time surfing all over the world. My wife is a keen surfer too and we’re just waiting for our eldest daughter to be a confident enough swimmer to get her on a surfboard. The little one will have to wait a few years and then we’ll all be off to Fistral beach!.
Hugo was interviewed in 2012.