Falkirk-based distributor Catering Supplies and Repairs (CSR) has welcomed another engineering apprentice to its team.
16 year-old Connor Stowe started with the company over the summer as a first year apprentice straight from school.
He will be gaining experience assisting the firm’s engineers in their daily jobs, building up his portfolio, along with attending college over the next 4 years to gain his qualifications to allow him to work on commercial catering equipment. He will qualify in domestic gas appliance installation initially, then changeover to commercial appliances in the fourth year.
Stowe said: “CSR has changed my career for the better. In the current circumstances I feel very privileged to have been given an apprenticeship within this industry at such a young age. During my time at school I had always wanted to get into some form of apprenticeship for engineering but wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted, therefore I am so thankful that CSR offered me this.
“Since joining CSR I have done many different jobs, from installs, assisting breakdowns and helping in maintaining our workshop. I feel in such a short time I have already learned a vast amount of knowledge and experience.”
He added: “From leaving school only 6 weeks ago to now I have already learned so many new skills, it is unbelievable. I know during the rest of my time as an apprentice I am going to be learning not just my qualified skills but skills that I know will help me throughout my working career, and I cannot thank CSR enough. I am looking forward to the journey ahead.”
CSR has a strong track record of bringing new trainees through the company, including Adam Davidson, who recalled: “When I first left school and was thinking for the future, all that was clear was that I did not want to go to university. This is when I first seriously looked at the different avenues that were available to me. What I was interested in was being some kind of engineer; I wasn’t clear on the discipline but knew this was the route I wanted go down.
“I started applying for jobs in many different industries but had no luck until CSR gave me an opportunity for work experience. At this time I thought I would do 3 weeks’ worth of work experience and then move on. I never thought for one minute that I would be given this opportunity.
“Now after 4 years, I feel very proud of myself of what I have achieved and also feel very fortunate for the opportunities that I have been given as it has provided me with a world of experience that will keep me active within this industry for many years to come.
“I have worked as hard as I could from my very first day right through to now. I am so grateful of the knowledge, experience and training that CSR has provided me with.”
Another success story at the distributor is 20-year-old Mark Cardenduff, who detailed: “Before I left school I was required to do 1 week’s work experience, which I did at CSR and thoroughly enjoyed my time.
“I then signed to go away with the navy but also got offered an apprenticeship at CSR at the same time. I ultimately decided to become a catering engineer.”
Cardenduff completed the 3-year domestic gas qualification at City of Glasgow College, which was unfortunately extended by Covid, then finished his changeover to commercial gas in 2021.
He added: “I loved the experience I gained throughout my apprenticeship, working under my dad, who was my tradesman. From leaving school at 16 to going straight into a job was a great feeling and to be fully qualified at such a young age was what I was aiming for.
“Now I am out on my own I am using all of the knowledge I gained over my apprenticeship and now seeing it put into practice. I would like to thank Allan and all of CSR for the opportunity they have given me through this apprenticeship.”
CSR’s general manager Lynn Stewart commented: “I know that they are all very appreciative to be given the opportunity and look forward to rewarding careers.”