Apprentice’s success shows Marren the way forward

Services and spare parts provider Marren has opened the door to more apprenticeships in future after the company’s youngest field services engineer landed two industry awards.

Kane Needs scooped the ‘Advanced Apprentice’ and ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ at a ceremony organised by Northamptonshire Industrial Training Association Limited (NITAL), which specialises in delivering apprenticeships and vocational programmes.

Marren generally hasn’t had a formal apprenticeship scheme in place, but the 20-year-old’s performance and subsequent recognition has made the company reconsider the value of introducing new blood to its 40-strong team of field engineers.

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Bob Clifford, managing director of Marren, told Catering Insight that the success of Needs, who has now completed a two-year programme of college and field work, has made it think differently about the importance of investing in youth.

“Kane has been a real success and to win two awards is great news. It certainly restores your faith in young people,” he said. “Our business is divided into six regions, with a supervisor for each, and we’re now going to offer the opportunity for them to mentor an apprentice and bring that person through into the company.”

20-year-old Needs landed his awards for fulfilling a number of criteria based on his coursework, technical understanding and overall application. He was also commended for going above the call of duty whenever asked and completing both level 2 and level 3 of the apprenticeship programme.

He is now part of the Wellingborough-based company’s local field services team, carrying around £15,000 worth of spare parts and attending local repair and maintenance calls from cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Marren badges itself as the largest independent services provider for commercial microwaves and specialises in products made by a variety of manufacturers including Panasonic, Sharp, Hatco, TurboChef and Electrolux high speed grills.

“Anything that heats or cooks we are interested in,” says Clifford. “The most important thing for us is that we look to do a first-time fix — and our rate for achieving that is quite high, it’s in the 90 percents.”

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