As a young man starting out on his own career path, Mark Fryer wanted to harness his love of engineering so secured himself an apprenticeship with Marshalls as a Heavy Goods Vehicle Mechanic. Throughout his early career, Mark gained his HGV qualifications and progressed up the career ladder to become Workshop Manager. After several years in the role, Mark reached a point where he felt he was ready for something different and a conversation with a friend led to a move into a new role as a Compressor Engineer. Mark was able to transfer his knowledge and skills and enjoyed 18mths in the industry, before the company he worked for went into administration.
Reaching a crossroads in his career, Mark had to make a decision regarding his future, and he believed he had gained the required level of knowledge and experience to enable him to step into the industry on his own. Mark started up his own business, Cambridge Compressors, and has recently celebrated 30 years in business.
Mark said, “I love the variety of my role, the challenges it presents. I am still an engineer, but on a day-to-day basis, I am also a manager with responsibility for areas such as HR, finance and Health & Safety. I still enjoy applying my mechanical and electrical skills to solve people’s problems. Ultimately, I enjoy helping people. I feel as though I get to do my hobby everyday as my job, while bringing young people into the industry.”
Over the years, Mark has expanded the size of his business, taking on new people as the demand for services grows and he now works with Cambridge Regional College to recruit apprentices. This is a programme he is committed to undertaking to support young people entering the engineering industry.
Mark added, “I work closely with Cambridge Regional College to identify young people to bring into the industry. I rely on the expertise of CRC to teach the apprentices elements of learning that we are unable to offer in the workplace. Without their support, we wouldn’t have a successful apprenticeship scheme. Our 2019 apprentice, Jordan is on a 3-year programme and he is doing very well. He works alongside our dedicated apprentice engineer.”
Marks explains that an apprenticeship with Cambridge Compressors will see the apprentice work within each area of the business so that they can gain a good perspective to identify where they might fit into the business upon qualifying.
Describing what he looks for in an apprentice, Mark concludes, “I am looking for hardworking, ambitious and passionate young people. It is important to me that my apprentices have the confidence to deal with people from all backgrounds including contractors, engineers and customers.
It is my intention bring all of my apprentices into the business as a permanent employee, if that is the pathway they wish to take. Without apprentices how do we secure of our industry? Learning on the job is a discipline, it is a challenge, but the apprentices are supported by us, their assessors and through the theoretical knowledge that CRC provides.”
Watch the full interview with Mark.