Alex completed year one, thanks to Kenrick

Alex Chester, who has completed his first year apprenticeship, and Andy White, Kenrick's operations manager

One of the young people supported by West Bromwich-based hardware supplier, Kenrick, has completed the first year of his apprenticeship. Alex Chester combines theoretical learning for his Level Three Engineering Technician Mechatronics Pathway course with practical training at Kenrick. Working closely 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.

Alex said: “I’m delighted to have completed the first year of my apprenticeship at Kenrick. 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. I’m really enjoying the challenge of finding and fixing issues and learning along the way.”

Andy White, Kenrick’s operations manager, added: “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. 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. We’re proud to be bridging the gap in the skills shortage and attracting the next generation of people, like Alex, to enter the sector.”

Kenrick is a progressive company and is always on the lookout for capable people to join its team. To find out more, email