Kickstart to the Future

With an ageing workforce, and an eye to the future, Arrow Engineering was on the look-out for fresh talent and the next generation of leaders, when the Kickstart scheme was announced in autumn 2020.

‘We wanted to build a solid team and secure the future for the business’, said Russ Arrowsmith, CEO of the engineering supply company serving the food and drink process industry, based in Salford, Greater Manchester. ‘Many of our senior leaders, myself included, are in our 60s. We recognised we needed new talent and the Kickstart scheme was perfectly timed for this.’

Kickstarters Michael and Blake joined the organisation in July and September 2021, quickly proving their dedication, adaptability and eagerness to learn.

Arrow Engineering worked with The Growth Company as their Kickstart Gateway, with online In Work Support and Employability training sessions provided for their Kickstart participants, along with over 650 other young people in Kickstart placements across the country.

At the end of their Kickstart placements, both Michael and Blake were offered permanent contracts and promotions.

Michael, 22, from Salford, Trainee Design Engineer, said:

‘Working with the experienced engineers has been the best part of my placement and being part of the team at Arrow has given me the social skills to be collaborative between customers and suppliers. When I was offered the permanent position it olidified my belief that I belong in Engineering.’

Blake, 23, from Salford, Trainee Engineering Planner and Website Content Manager said:

‘What I love about working for Arrow engineering is the opportunity to do meaningful work that I am proud of, in a happy work environment that recognises my current skills and helps me to develop them further.’

And keen boxer Russ also introduced trainee Blake to the sport, coaching him through a local match attended by staff and customers alike, and encouraging a passion Blake is continuing with; ‘Russ recognised my interest in fitness and encouraged me to go the extra mile in the boxing ring as well as at work’, he said.

CEO Russ describes his two newest recruits as ‘exceptional’, bringing ‘youth and sparkle’ to his workforce. ‘They are now dealing with customers and suppliers on a daily basis, like it’s second nature’. Their next step will be to begin progressing through the business, something Russ has already started laying the foundations for. ‘I see them as a crucial part of our company’s future’, he added.

The Growth Company has also supported Arrow Engineering with access to finance, IT and e-commerce expertise and upskilling the workforce. For more information about The Growth Company’s services to businesses see

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