AN AIR conditioning firm is staying cool after celebrating a record year and highlighting the important role of apprentices.
Airmaster founder director Richard Pogson cut his teeth with an apprenticeship — as did nearly all 35 staff, including five of six senior managers.
Mr Pogson said: “I started my own journey with British Steel, as a trainee fitter. I left and went to work for a friend’s father’s company as an apprentice air conditioning engineer.
“I started as an apprentice, so did most of our management team and staff. We are totally behind apprenticeships and are heavily involved in many education initiatives.
“In our first year, I think I turned over £80,000. This year we’ll be celebrating reaching over £7 million turnover.”
Contracts manager Gareth Campbell joined as a 16-year-old in 2000 when the Swallownest business moved into the former Wetherby pub.
He said: “I couldn’t wait to put my school years behind me and start using a hammer and any powered machinery I was able to get my hands on.”
Project engineer Jack Price joined this year after a four-year apprenticeship at Air Quality Control.
He said: “I’m working to achieve many more qualifications within the company, such as an NVQ in project management and HND qualifications.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without an apprenticeship, it is definitely the way to go.”