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Business & Economy

Investment in it department sees former apprentice promoted

A former apprentice is moving up the career ladder at TMD Friction in Hartlepool thanks to investment from the company to strengthen its IT department.

Stuart Gallagher joined the global automotive manufacturer four and a half years ago and in that time has completed Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT before going on to complete a Level 3 apprenticeship in IT.

Earlier this year the opportunity for promotion came up as part of a review by the company into its IT capabilities and Stuart decided to put himself forward.

After proving himself to the management team, he was successful in being appointed as new IT department support technician, with responsibility for TMD Friction’s IT capabilities across the business.

His promotion resulted in the appointment of new IT apprentice Ethan Robson, who is now undertaking a Level 3 qualification.

Stuart said: “This role is a lot more demanding than my previous position but I am really enjoying it and am relishing having more responsibility within the business.

“TMD Friction is a great place to work and the company really is committed to investing in their staff and giving people with the right attitude and work ethic the opportunity to move up the career ladder. Hopefully this position will set me up for a project engineer or team leader role at TMD Friction. That’s certainly my aim.”

“I am also enjoying mentoring Ethan as he embarks on his development journey and I am already seeing potential in him that he will become a real asset to the team.”

Ethan, 20, from Horden, joined TMD Friction through Baltic Recruitment and is enjoying settling into his apprenticeship role at the Oakesway Trading Estate-based manufacturer.

He said: “The apprenticeship is so diverse and I’m learning so may different things on a daily basis from the business processes used across the business to server maintenance and software updates. It’s really interesting and Stuart has been a great help to me.

“My aim it to prove myself over the next 12 months and hopefully secure a permanent role here, which will also enable me to complete a Level 4 apprenticeship too.”

TMD Friction has committed a significant amount of investment in its IT department in recent months, which has enabled the company to purchase new IT equipment, an electronic notice board for staff updates and new software which has boosted functionality and efficiency across the business.

The company, which manufactures brake pads for 95 per cent of the models of Europe’s aftermarket, including emergency services vehicles and many of the major distribution small trucks and vans, moved to its current base on Oakesway Trading Estate in 1998.

The past 15 months have seen 52 new products introduced at Hartlepool and two new flagship customers added to TMD Friction’s portfolio of automotive manufacturers.

The company’s other UK sites in Elvington, Warrington and Cleckheaton have also benefited from investment to support operations at Hartlepool.

Jenny Wright, UK HR Manager at TMD Friction, said: “We are committed to investing in our staff and ensuring that people always have the chance to develop and move up the career ladder.

“Stuart has been an asset to TMD Friction since he joined in 2017 so when the more senior role came up, he was able to demonstrate to us that he was the right person for the job.

“His promotion, and the subsequent appointment of Ethan Robson as our new IT apprentice, was part of an overall review into our IT capabilities, which saw our parent company approve significant investment in a number of areas to strengthen our day-to-day operations.”