You seem to be located in .

Go to your Scania market site for more information.

Life at Scania: Your career development is in your own destiny

Working at Scania isn’t just heavy vehicles and machinery. It can also open up a wealth of career opportunities to progress and develop your career – your way. This is Workshop Services Manager Ged Nairn experience.

17th October 2022

Working at Scania isn’t just about the trucks, buses, coaches or marine and industrial engines. It also opens up a wealth of opportunities to progress and develop your career – your way.


We share the experience of Ged Nairn, Workshop Services Manager at Eurocentral, as he progresses up the career ladder at Scania UK.


Superstar company with a humble attitude


With a wealth of experience in maintaining, repairing and diagnosing heavy vehicles from being an apprentice at Volkswagen, to working as an engineer for the US Army and, most recently, the Strathclyde Fire Service, Ged was keen to take his career to the next level.


Having become intimate with Scania during his time at the fire service, he was keen to expand his knowledge about the vehicles. Little did he realise the world that would open for him when he arrived.


Ged said: “I really wanted to progress. As far as I was concerned Scania just did trucks, I didn’t know about Power Solutions, Bus & Coach, Truck Rental and all the other branches to the business.


“You quickly realise it’s a big company and the opportunities are there. The chance to progress and may be even to work in Australia, New Zealand or anywhere across Europe are there – provided you choose to take the opportunity.”


Arriving on his first day at Bellshill, Glasgow, Ged was keen to keep his head down. He believed the team to be full of superstar technicians and management, who would need convincing he was worthy of working in their presence, as Ged explains:


“When I started at Scania, I had it in my head that this being a main dealer, these guys are superstars and that it would take a lot to impress the Dealer Directors and Aftersales Directors.


“I was expecting to do services and inspections for the first three months. Before I knew it, I’ve rebuilt an engine and replaced a clutch in a double drive unit in a bus. These are jobs I’ve never undertaken. Getting those jobs at the start was a good boost, because it showed trust in my ability.”


It was the confidence builder Ged needed to hit the ground running and to start his master plan to progress up the career ladder. He wouldn’t have to wait long. Within three years, he became Workshop Services Manager for Bellshill, now Eurocentral – Scania UK’s flagship service centre.


But this was just the beginning.

Grasping the opportunity with both hands


Having made the jump from Technician to Workshop Services Manager in just three years, Ged Nairn was experiencing a whole new world.


“As far I was concerned to run the workshop, you simply told the guys what to do, then you manage the workshop accordingly,” he says. “I didn’t take any consideration for recovery rates, pay by hour contracts, financials, overheads, and all of those things.


“It’s suddenly about getting guys to fix trucks efficiently, productively and making sure they are making money. None of that business side was ever in my head.”


Noticing his potential were Scotland’s Dealer Director James Colbourne and Aftersales Director Paul Smith. They were keen to develop Ged’s business understanding and managerial style. Both crucial for his role now – but also becoming a General Manager.


Ged was given the opportunity to take on a secondment with Scania UK’s South Central region under the tutelage of Dealer Director Paul Brady. It was the chance to follow in the footsteps of someone who’s already forged a similar path.


Paul started his career on the tools at Bellshill before working his way up to General Manager and  Dealer Director. If there was a perfect tutor for Ged, Paul was it.

To learn from someone so admired by the business for their meticulous nature, was a chance too good to turn down.


But Ged had to consider his young family. With three young boys – the oldest aged eight and the youngest not even one, would his wife be able to cope? How would the children react?  

As it transpired, his wife Fiona was hugely supportive and adamant he took his chance.


However, Ged was acutely aware that this might not have been the case and prepared how he would decline the opportunity. But the hardest challenge was yet to come, as he explains.


“Fiona was very supportive. But the hardest bit was telling the kids. My oldest son knew what I was doing as I explained it to him. My son who’s only four, didn’t take it in. He would phone on the Monday and asked where I was every week. And when are you coming back? How many sleeps?


“When I came back on the Friday, he was like my shadow, he wouldn’t leave me. He would just stand beside me. That was the hardest thing.”


Despite the potential hardships, Ged could clearly see the rewards, as he grabbed the opportunity with both hands and joined Paul down in South England for the next few months.


He said: “If you want to take your managerial career to the next step, take yourself out of your comfort zone. Put yourself in that position to prove your managerial ability, status and the skill sets to do it.


“100% take the secondment. But be prepared if you have a young family.”

Secondments: Advantage me!


While working in the South Central region, Ged did plenty of travelling between all the service centres including: Swindon, Heathrow and Southampton. During his time, he experienced what it takes to be a successful Dealer Director, different managerial skills and life as a General Manager.


His time under the tutelage of Dealer Director Paul Brady was designed to give Ged insight into running Scania UK’s network from a regional level, rather than a macro dealer level.


The first few weeks were intense, but Ged quickly got to grips with what it takes to be a successful Dealer Director. While these would support future career development, he also learned some tips that would be useful in his own role as Workshop Services Manager.


“Our job was to make sure the region performed,” he says. “Paul dived into every single thing. It wasn’t like he saw something he didn’t like and investigated. He dived into every single job and went through it in detail.


“It opened my eyes, because you get the general view of ‘that’s fine and that’s fine’ – but he wanted to know everything. I didn’t think at Dealer Director level he would want to know why a job wasn’t invoiced two weeks ago. It was good learning from him, and I was never in a hurry to go back to the hotel.”


The rest of his secondment saw him cover Banbury’s General Manager. While the pace wasn’t as relentless as at Eurocentral, which is one of Scania UK’s busiest service centres, there was plenty of opportunity to learn. But also, chances for him to share his knowledge, including the introduction of Tech Assist.


The biggest lessons Ged took away from his time in the South Central region was the necessity to become an entrepreneur and focused on the business side of fixing vehicles and engines.


“I learned a lot about my preferred managerial style,” he says. “And the business side of it. At the end of the day, you need to make a profit. To do so, you need the right people, attitude and strategy in place, and without all three you don’t have a business.


“It’s about being able to plan and put all the pieces together to make the workshop and service centre run like a Swiss watch.”

But Ged adds, the secondment has also helped him build up a valuable peer network across the UK. Whether it is the General Managers and specialist technicians across the region to teams operating out of Scania UK’s Support Centre in Milton Keynes, there’s someone with the expertise available to help.


He concludes by saying: “If you’re interested in joining Scania – do it. If you want career progression, to better yourself and to see how good you’re at your job, then join Scania.


“The challenges here are hard but rewarding. What are you waiting for?”


Has Ged inspired you? Why not find out more about joining the Scania Family here –