GastroNorth | GastroNorth’s newly qualified apprentice joins a string of career success stories for the firm
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GastroNorth’s newly qualified apprentice joins a string of career success stories for the firm

James Blanchard

20 Sep GastroNorth’s newly qualified apprentice joins a string of career success stories for the firm


Leading distributors GastroNorth pledge a commitment to nurture their staff as the younger members of their team set out to forge a career within the industry.

At Tyneside-based GastroNorth, who specialise in the design, supply and installation of commercial kitchens, the philosophy is one of progression and the newest entrants follow a structured career plan which enables new talent to be brought in to replace them as they continue to develop and the cycle continues.

With a number of apprentices who have joined the ranks of the award-winning firm, GastroNorth have developed a reputation for really developing their staff members.

The latest beginner to benefit from GastroNorth’s training is James Blanchard, who came straight out of college and into an Apprentice CAD Technician role and has how now just completed his design engineering apprenticeship.

James’ position involved assisting the team with their design workload, but now he’s completed his apprenticeship he will take on the role of Junior Design Engineer and will be learning how to turn his designs into quotations by accurately specifying equipment to meet a client’s brief.

Tim Whitfield, Director at GastroNorth, said: “Since starting with us, James’ abilities have continually improved and we can’t wait to see how that progression continues as he comes increasingly involved with projects through sales or management, depending on where his natural aptitude lies’.

“One of our main aims at GastroNorth is to employ staff who we can develop within our industry, and not just hire apprentices who are going to join us and then leave after a year or two, we want to help our young staff members to progress their careers and develop a GastroNorth way of thinking and working.”

Another one of the firm’s apprentices, Shona Grant, who started around the same time as James has also recently passed her Administrative Assistant Apprenticeship and has now become Project Administrator, helping the admin team with projects, warranties and logistics.

Two new Apprentice Installation Engineers have also recently joined the team in the summer, following a run of Apprentice Field Engineers who GastroNorth have helped take a leap into the industry.

Tim added: “It is part of our mission to help young people take their first steps into a career in our industry and we are always on the lookout for enthusiastic and talented individuals to fill positions as and when they become available.”