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Q&A with Lynn Middleton - Global HR & Labour Relations Director

Tell us about your background.

I grew up in the North East of England, and I left school at sixteen with a small number of academic qualifications. I didn't enjoy school or studying so I left as soon as possible, despite my parents' expectations.

I succeeded in getting a place on Rolls Royce Youth Training School Scheme in administration. I spent twenty one years with Rolls Royce, in which time I gained valuable learning and benefitted from a structured career path. Rolls Royce gave me the confidence to go back to university at twenty eight, and sponsored my degree in Human Resources Management. The biggest challenge was juggling the day job, with studying for four years, and being a mum.

Through my career I gained a number of promotions within HR and some lifelong understanding of heavy manufacturing, line HR and unionised environments.† This has and continues to be my passions within the world of HR.

How did you get into Cummins Generator Technologies and what is your current role'

I first joined Cummins Business Services in January 2006, in the North East of England, as the HR Leader for our shared service business. However, I realised that I missed the fast pace, and crazy environment, a manufacturing plant offers to a HR position.

My mentor at the time approached me with an opportunity to return to leading HR for a plant. However, this meant relocating, with my young daughter, two and half hours away from my family and friends to a small town called Stamford.† This is where I first joined Cummins Generator Technologies (CGT).

Wow, how do I begin' STAMFORD, CGT, and the people are all really close to my heart. Even through the ups and downs, and the need for change, we remained united on the same journey, exploring different ways of working together. Through my role I gained knowledge and the chance grow into a role that required me to work on a global scale. During the following six years, as Line HR for STAMFORD, I supported the wider Power Generation business across EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and worked, within my HR capacity, across a number of departments, and Executive Leaders on a global scale. My roles since have incorporated my passion for manufacturing plants, and HR with working on a global scale.

In November 2015, CGT became a performance cell which gave me the opportunity to lead HR and Labour Relation for CGT globally. Though it has been a challenge, being accountable for seven sites, bringing alignment to our sites, developing new products, and meeting the need to confront our manufacturing footprint, has been a massive achievement contributed to by everyone.

How do people build a career within Cummins Generator Technologies'

CGT looks to hire at entry level roles with the intent to develop and promote talent. The aim is to meet our current and future business needs by identifying the right people, and placing them in the right position in the right way to cultivate a range of skills and capabilities. CGT careers can start at many different levels.

For those are just starting out, we support summer and twelve month student placements, as well as apprenticeships, work experience, university projects, and graduate schemes. Schools, colleges, and universities, are great places to meet talented candidates interested in developing their careers and growing their communities. We actively recruit talent especially talented graduates in technical degree programs. However, we also look for candidates from other disciplines including finance, human resources, business, and marketing.

Technical, Office and Manufacturing:

At CGT, our employees play a big role in achieving our industry status. Working here you are encouraged to think beyond your desk or toolbox as part of your everyday working life. There are a wide range of positions including, Test Cell Technician, Office and Administration, Production, and Skilled Trades positions, from mechanical and electrical to toolmaking and maintenance. We have a number of senior leaders who began their CGT careers at the apprenticeship and trainee level who continually support and coach others through their career journeys.

Professional Experiences:

CGT makes the best alternator products globally. Our new S range has allowed engineers to explore the potential of design work in advanced and innovative ways. In order to maintain our unmatched quality and innovation, we recruit the best and the brightest from all over the world. CGT allows their employees to work across the boundaries of departments and global reigns through our projects. We are always searching for new ideas, and viewpoints from a diverse range of talent. Furthermore, we are committed to building partnerships with our customers, our environment, and our communities. As the result of the diversity of the work place, high quality skills and attributes of our employees, and the global opportunities, we offer life changing careers in almost every discipline ' Why not get in touch and start building your career'

What would be your key message to someone in their early to mid-career'

  • Don't listen to your doubts. With roles and job opportunities you have a passion for push yourself outside your comfort zone.
  • Work hard, and enjoy what you do.
  • Be open, and share your feelings and thoughts.
  • Be realistic, develop your understanding, and through hard work the next role will come.
  • Develop your network and visibility ' your performance will be recognised.
  • Don't be in a hurry to climb the ladder. Take time to enjoy your career journey. To go from Admin trainee to Director, who would have thought it ' certainly not me!