I AM WITH ROADWISE Jonathan Park: How A Musician Is Making A Difference At Roadwise
When Jonathan Park applied for a role as a driving instructor at Roadwise it seemed like an obvious career route. He was already familiar with Aberdeen Foyer, having worked for them earlier in his career and was impressed by the charity and its work supporting young people and adults in Aberdeen City and Shire.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, I volunteered for The Foyer supporting them with music” he states. “I then went on to Napier University to study BA Popular Music before returning to Aberdeen. Today I’m a member of popular metal band, Ray Brower”
So it seemed natural that he should find his way back to the charity several years later, this time as an administrator working for Roadwise, one of The Foyer’s social enterprises. In this interview he explains how he became part of the Roadwise family and his progression throughout the company from administrator to driving instructor.
Jonathan joined Roadwise in 2016 through the Community Jobs Scotland programme. Initially it was supposed to be a 6-month internship, however, he was taken on full-time. In five years, Jonathan had moved from trainee administrator to senior administrator, building new systems and processes to ensure Roadwise remained efficient and streamlined, particularly useful as the organisation navigated to remote working during the Covid pandemic. From there, he found himself moving into driver training.
I was dealing with trainee instructors all the time in my role as a senior administrator and I provided a lot of support for them in regards to the admin and theory side of the training. Having built up my understanding and theoretical expertise the next logical step seemed to be to try and push to achieve a driving instructor qualification myself.
As a self-proclaimed problem solver who likes a challenge and is naturally outgoing, Jonathan saw the opportunity and applied for a role as a trainee instructor with Roadwise.
When asked what the attributes are for being a good instructor Jonathon agrees that having a calm and patient approach is key. “We have all sorts of people who come through our doors” he says openly. “People can be overconfident and have to learn quickly to become aware of the risks and dangers on the road they perhaps feel immune to, and there are others who are petrified as soon as they get behind the wheel. Reading people, trusting people and being able to provide constructive criticism and coaching are all key things I’ve learned during my time as an instructor.”
Jonathan is ambitious and has recently expanded his teaching capability and the fleet of vehicles he owns “I now own two teaching vehicles: one manual and an automatic. I recently got a truck, and after holding my category C license for three years I will start to deliver training in that area also. With the advance in electric vehicles- my end goal is to ensure I can teach in these too.”
The community and family spirit that Roadwise presents to Jonathan and the 17 other instructors in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is what keeps Jonathon loyal to the company. “All the instructors share tips and hints and knowledge. Everyone is friendly with strong experience, morals and comradery – which makes it a great, fun place to work. It’s also dynamic, exciting and no two days are the same which makes it a very rewarding role.”
When asked why people should consider learning to drive with Roadwise Jonathan sums up by saying: “Roadwise has been on the go for twenty-five years and our instructors exceed the average UK pass rate significantly. We have a lot of experienced instructors, with diverse backgrounds such as ex police and military, to those like myself who have a strong procedural background. We learn from each other, and the team has an exceptional safety and performance record…. Just read some of our reviews!”
To find out more how you can join Roadwise team as an instructor or become a trainee instructor, please contact on 08000 151 642 or by filling in this Enquiry Form.