Skills gap tackled

Kenrick has supported the training and development of three young people, with one recently completing the first year of his apprenticeship.

Alex Chester combines theoretical learning for his Level 3 Engineering Technician Mechatronics Pathway course with practical training at Kenrick. Working alongside Kenrick’s maintenance manager Barry Faulkner, the 25-year old is hoping to become a maintenance engineer when he completes his three-and-a-half-year apprenticeship at the Lean Engineering and Manufacturing Academy (LEMA) in Dudley.

“It’s been a great learning experience for me, and I’ve had the opportunity to develop lots of new skills, from carrying out machine and facilities repairs to electrical and lighting work and day-to-day maintenance,” Alex said. “I’m really enjoying the challenge of finding and fixing issues, and learning along the way.”

Andy White, operations manager at Kenrick, said: “The skills shortage is still a pressing industry issue, particularly in the current climate where many skilled European migrants have returned to their home countries during the pandemic.

“Like many businesses, Kenrick has a very experienced workforce, but we want to do what we can to encourage youngsters into an industry that can give them good long-term prospects.

“The best way to develop is to shadow and learn from someone who is highly skilled and willing to share their knowledge, and this is exactly what Alex has been doing with us. We see great potential in Alex and we’re very pleased to help him establish a worthwhile career at Kenrick, learning those all-important engineering and maintenance skills.”