A TEACHER who became frustrated by the bureaucracy and paperwork quit the profession to set up his own technology business.
Paul Levy, 47, first trained as engineer after following in the footsteps of his father and ended up working at Airbus.
But he left the industry to become a teacher working in a number of secondary schools across North Wales.
While he loved parts of the job, he left full time teaching in 2000 to set up the Livetech digital creative agency.
Now in its 15th year, the company employs eight people and has just secured new premises that could see them add another 10 workers.
Paul said: “I always felt I had an inventive mind but at school I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do.
“I was advised if I did engineering it would train my mind, so that’s what I did.
“I was following in my father’s footsteps because he was in the engineering field.
“He was a toolmaker and I was naturally led towards engineering.
“I went to university in Salford and I was sponsored by an aerospace company, Dowty Aerospace, in Gloucestershire.
“It was a major achievement at the time because going to university then was quite a big deal then – no-one from my family had ever gone to university.”
Upon graduation he worked as a Stress and Performance Engineer on the landing gear of several variants of the European Airbus, the A321, A330 and the A340 aircraft.
After working for two engineering companies he decided to train as a teacher and then worked teaching Design Technology and IT, at Prestatyn High School, Ysgol Friars in Bangor and Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno.
He said: “It was a great privilege to be a high school teacher and a great challenge as well. But I found I was diverted by bureaucracy and paperwork that I didn’t think added any value to anything.
“At the same time I saw the rising tide of the internet and for quite some years people kept asking me if I was expecting it to take off.
“I never had the slightest doubt.”
He added: “I formed Livetech in 2000 and did supply teaching while I was running it up.
“The supply teaching was my safety net because it was a pretty risky exercise in one sense.
“However, it was the right decision and we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary this year. I was in the right place at the right time.
“We’re busy and we’re still growing. Our aim is to be the go-to guys on all aspects of technology regionally.”
He says this remit means every day is different.
He said: “There isn’t such a thing as an average day. If you take today for example, I started out at the Welsh Mountain Zoo at 8am and I was attaching signs to the animal enclosures with a mobile app to read QR codes and RFID tags – essentially an ID system that uses small radio frequency identification devices for identification and tracking purposes – which is a cutting edge project we’re doing.
“Our activities are very broad.
“We do everything from web design over masses of different industries and fields from visitor attractions to accommodation, online retail, construction and engineering.
“You name it really.
“People come to us and we have to understand what they need to get out of it and take it forward.
“Then we need to promote it from an online marketing point of view, which is changing all the time as our media changes.”
It is certainly working as the company is preparing to expand.
He said: “We now employ eight people.
“We have plenty of work and the issue is to manage sustainable growth, especially valuing the people we’ve got at the moment and bringing them on, allowing them to develop and grow as they need to and then bringing other appropriate people into the team who will complement the people who are already here.
“We are currently based in Deganwy but the company has acquired the lease on the old National Trust property in Trinity Square in central Llandudno.
“With a lot of centralized services, the building is being currently fitted out with cutting edge telecoms and internet technology.
“I am expecting we will be creating another 10 jobs in time as a result of our move, which will also facilitate our own future growth.”