Peterborough-based distributor Caterfix is in the process of training up two apprentices in its engineering and marketing departments.
Apprentice engineer Chris Tyler joined the firm last July as part of a 42-month scheme, though he is currently on course to finish this ahead of schedule. He works for Caterfix three days a week, with the other two spent at Peterborough Regional College studying for a level 3 diploma in engineering technology, and an extended level 3 NVQ diploma in engineering.
Caterfix’s MD, David Iacono, detailed why the company took on this young talent: “Finding skilled and technical individuals in our area was difficult. We were more than happy to take Chris on as we found that by having our engineer Colin train him he would then be able to learn from the best.
“This simultaneously helps us, as we have gained a fantastic and skilled individual, and our customers, as Chris is learning to be able to help in many ways.”
Neelam Akhtar started with the firm in June 2014 as marketing manager. She is currently studying geography A level at school, having already completed A levels in English and History. “This allows me enough spare time to be able to gain some invaluable work experience here at Caterfix,” she said.
She intends to attend Royal Holloway, University of London in September 2015 to study business management and marketing, commenting: “I’m hoping that both my years’ worth of work experience teamed with a relevant degree will help me in the future where I wish to pursue marketing at all different levels.”
According to Iacono: “Caterfix needed to branch out to a newer market and take advantage of the opportunities that the internet provides us with. We employed Neelam as she was an enthusiastic bright young woman with a detailed knowledge on all aspects of social media and had a creative approach in terms of marketing.
“In the last year we have been able to create not only a strong social media presence but also a community presence, as by marketing strategically, more and more people have come in to visit us at our new showroom.”
When asked whether these hires form part of an overall strategy to continually train young people, Iacono replied: “If the right person came along and showed the same enthusiasm as Chris and Neelam we would happily invest in them.”