Welcome to 10 new trainee engineers
On 14th January 2019, 10 new recruits became the fourth cohort to embark on MCFT’s engineer training programme, a 2 year course that starts with basic skills and ends with them being fully qualified catering or fridge engineers.
Although an engineering background is not necessary, all the trainees took part in an assessment day to determine their aptitude for the role, with a focus on people who understand what good customer service is. Anson, Matt, Steve, Chris, Billy, Ben, Joel, Tom, Iain and Dan have previously had various roles including a PE assistant, facilities support worker, van fitter, glass & glazing technician, kitchen porter and construction worker.
280 applications were received from around the country to join the existing North, Midlands, London and South East teams. 106 telephone interviews resulted in 33 invitations to the assessment centre to determine the final 10. The company makes a big investment in the 2 year programme, so this is a crucial stage and tests the water for both parties, providing an opportunity to assess candidates across a range of skills including ability and team working.
MCFT is committed to the ongoing training and development of its engineers. The company’s reputation rests on the work they carry out on a daily basis, and the course covers not just technical skills but also people skills. Facing a stressed chef with a broken oven on a busy shift can require some careful handling.
After rigorous assessment by City & Guilds, the internally developed course was awarded City & Guilds Assured status in 2018 which means that all participants will have a recognisable qualification at the end of it.
Kirstie Donnelly Managing Director City & Guilds and ILM said:
“MCFT gaining Assured status for four of their in-house training programmes demonstrates the high-quality of their training.
MCFT have very specific skills needs which sometimes can’t be met by ‘off the peg’ qualifications and courses. By building their own bespoke courses and having them accredited with Assured they have been able to exactly meet their business’s needs, whilst also retaining the stamp of quality that working with City & Guilds and ILM brings.”
The trainees will complete manufacturer and industry courses as well as working their way through a comprehensive programme that records all aspects of their training. They are allocated a personal coach who is a fully qualified MCFT engineer, who they shadow and get hands-on experience of both routine service visits and emergency call outs. Once a fortnight, the training cohort attend the technical academy for 2 days, led by Technical Leads and Training Managers, Paul Brooker and Matt Alderton.
Paul Brooker explains what happens in a typical session:
“We discuss what they have been doing over the last week while on site. This is all recorded in their personal training manuals. The training is set up so that they have a morning of theory followed by a day and half of practical training. This is done by setting up a series of tasks, each time more complicated than the last one. The programme starts with how to service and fault find on small hand-held appliances, moving up in size and complexity until we get to the big equipment like fridges and ovens. Training is the place they are always being tested, making sure they’re looking for potential hazards, and we’ll even try to distract them to replicate ‘real’ situations.”
Each trainee has been teamed up with an experienced mentor.
Dan Sears previously worked on service desk before making the switch to engineering trainee. His mentor is Chris Pyle (pictured below, top right). Senior engineer Gerry, takes Chris under his wing as new refrigeration trainee London (pictured below, bottom left)
Also pictured below (top left) are 5 of the coaches for the January 19 Cohort - Lucas, Jack, Chris, John & Gerry (John also delivers training in Qatar and will be heading off there next month).
The power of word of mouth
Did you know that prior to joining, 50% of the trainees selected already knew someone at MCFT who encouraged them to make an application? Well done Dan, Joel, Anson, Matt & Ben