Tuesday, July 28, 2020

News: Rotherham company motoring through lockdown


A 56-year-old Rotherham auto electrical company motored through lockdown by keeping key workers and the nation's truckers on the road. It even took on a new apprentice.

Demand was so high, family-run Maltby Auto Electrical Services Ltd stayed open and ramped up its online warehouse division, Splitcharge.co.uk.

Staff were redeployed from other areas of the business to ensure MAES could get urgently-needed parts to haulage and construction companies, teachers, NHS staff and other key workers.

The company, on Hope Street on the edge of the town centre, normally also operates a trade counter, workshop and mobile engineers and supplies motorists, retail and fleet operators, plus vintage car and camper van markets.

During lockdown the company found it was in a secure enough position to keep its commitment to an apprentice it had planned to take on in March.

Ann Ogley, finance director at MAES, said: "We are one of a number of businesses who have experienced positives from lockdown.

"It gave us an opportunity to evaluate and reorganise the business to make the most of the surge in trade from our eBay shop.

"Companies returning to work are currently having to work out safe ways of working. That is what we had to do in March and it’s second-nature to us now."

MAES set up individual staff work stations and made PPE available to ensure a safe working environment.

Seven weeks into lockdown, Hayley Barker, 18, joined the warehouse division as a customer service apprentice.

"We kept our commitment to Hayley," said Ann, whose husband Richard is the MD and son of the founder.

"We needed her because we are so busy. But also we strongly feel this year's school and college-leavers deserve the chance to start careers.

"We urge other local businesses to take up apprentices. It takes time to train someone, but the result is a worker who does the job exactly the way you need them to.

"Our auto electrical apprentices have proved invaluable to us and we believe Hayley will be too.

"Finding out our apprentices' interests and strengths, and working with them, has proved to be very good for the business. That's the beauty of having a young person in the workforce - you help them blossom and see how the fit develops."

The Source Skills Academy in Sheffield recruited Hayley for MAES as a Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner and will be overseeing her workplace learning.

On leaving Maltby Academy, Army Cadet Hayley had planned to be an Army veterinary technician. Ten months into her two-year course in animal management at Dinnington College, she had to change her goals.

She discovered her lifelong metabolic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU), for which she needs daily medication and a strict diet, meant she couldn't go into the Forces. She instead decided on a customer service career and contacted The Source.

"I found them really helpful," said Hayley. “They took time to understand what I was interested in.

"I jumped at a role with Maltby Auto Electrical because of their camper van specialism. I've helped my dad rebuild two campers."

Within days of being offered her position, the pandemic hit the UK.

"It could have meant another career setback for me but they still took me on," said Hayley. "I am so grateful for this opportunity."

MAES website
The Source website

Images: The Source


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