Airedale group ‘old timers’ rack up more than 1,100 years of combined service
Date: 03rd December 2015 | Posted by: Airedale Team | Posted in: Press release
Airedale Air Conditioning, Leeds, UK, December 3, 2015
More than 55 people with in excess of 1,100 years of combined service are this year celebrating long service achievements with the Leeds headquartered specialist cooling systems manufacturer, Airedale International Air Conditioning.
With its Johannesburg subsidiary, AIAC Air Conditioning South Africa, and Consett-based subsidiary, Barkell, the group has an enviable long service record: 38% of the combined workforce having clocked up 11 years or more with the business.
Throughout its 40-year long history, Airedale has thrived in spite of challenging times which have included several recessions and a major fire in September 2013 which has since seen the business rebuild its Rawdon, Leeds factory. In February 2014 Airedale acquired Barkell, adding air handling units to the group’s range of chillers, precision air conditioning and IT cooling systems.
Company secretary, John Clegg, first met the original directors, Alan Duttine and Peter Midgley, in 1974 when the business was in its infancy and was finally persuaded to join in 1980 as group financial controller. Reflecting on his 35 years with the business, John said: “As most people do when they start a new job, you think “I’ll give it a couple of years and see how it goes” but, like most of us here at this year’s awards, I ended up staying on. Right from the start it was, and remains, a good company to work for.”
Clive Parkman, the group’s managing director, commented: “I’m always exceedingly proud to present our long service awards. It’s a powerful reminder of the strength and size of our workforce and shows just how dedicated people are. The wealth of knowledge they bring to the design, manufacture, integration and support of our high quality British engineered products deserves to be celebrated.
“The phased return to our Rawdon site is now well underway and everyone is extremely excited about the future. The combination of our highly skilled team and brand new R&D and production facility puts us in a stronger position than ever.”
Airedale attributes its long service achievement in part to a commitment to investment in its people. Currently there are 13 apprentices gaining experience in research and development (R&D), manufacturing, controls, and external service and technical support. All of these trainees are expected to stay on at the end of their internships, following in the footsteps of former apprentices like technical support commissioning engineers, Richard Chalk and Adam Ellis, who are both celebrating 15 years with Airedale this year.
Across Airedale’s three sites total headcount exceeds 600 people, a 20% increase over the last two years in line with significant investment in R&D and commercial activities. The company’s training programme extends from management and commercial skills development to practical instruction at its CITB Construction Skills approved learning centre in Leeds. The centre is equipped with purpose-built training rigs, giving trainees plenty of opportunity to fine-tune and refresh their practical skills in areas such as electrics, pipework and brazing, refrigerant handling, and installation and commissioning of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems alongside the theory-based learning. In addition the manufacturer supports employees studying for professional qualifications at local further and higher education institutions. Last year Airedale’s service technical support engineer, Jamie Acs, earned a name for himself as the manufacturer’s first apprentice to gain a degree in Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineering, and the only student in his year to achieve a first-class honours classification.
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