A FAMILY run mechanical, electrical and water management services company has announced plans to create five new jobs after securing a fixed term contract with Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Stockton-based JH Mechanical, run by husband and wife team John and Heather Heward, will undertake the mechanical and electrical maintenance of all the brigade’s buildings and estates for the next five years.

The new jobs will also include the creation of one apprenticeship position, which is being funded through the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s ‘New Employer Grant for Apprenticeships’ programme.
The programme was launched to support the creation of apprenticeship opportunities across Tees Valley and funds 100 per cent of employment costs for the first six months of the apprenticeship, and a further 50 per cent of employment costs for up to two years.

John Heward, Managing Director of JH Mechanical, said: “This contract is significant for us, not only in terms of value and length but also because it is supporting the creation of five new jobs and safeguarding the futures of our existing workforce.

“Winning this contract at a time when the country is still on the road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is also testament to the hard work put in by our committed staff, who have worked tirelessly over the lockdown period to help keep schools, universities and other essential public buildings open and operational.”

JH Mechanical was launched by John six years ago and counts the likes of the Ministry of Defence, Teesside University, the Northern Education Trust, Newcastle University, and several housing associations across the North East among its client base.
Having started his career as an apprentice at the age of 16, John is hugely committed to creating opportunities for young people within his business and has a voluntary role on the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network.

He added: “I am a firm believer in giving talented young people in our area the chance to earn while they learn. Attracting the right people into your business at the developmental stage gives you the opportunity to mould them into an employee who can be a long term asset, whilst also giving that person the opportunity to move up the career ladder as they gain the skills and experience that an apprenticeship offers.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It is fantastic to see local businesses like JH Mechanical investing in young talent, especially given the need for us all to work together towards economic recovery. When I launched the New Employer Grant for Apprenticeships it was exactly this kind of opportunity I had in mind.

“I know John himself started as an apprentice so there’s no better example to young people of what can be achieved by starting out on this route, if you demonstrate the right attitude and commitment to developing.”

JH Mechanical was also successful in securing funds from the Covid Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which has enabled the company to continue to grow during the uncertain months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sharon Starkey

Author Sharon Starkey

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