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Green Technology Vision is now being Realised with the help of Apprentice

Giles Barker was so bitten by the renewable bug, he set up his own company.  The enthusiasm for the green collar continues as the first apprentice joins his fledgling firm and they sign up to the Humber LEP’s Skills Pledge.

Apprentice Laura Birkett and Giles Barker of Flixborough Eco Technologies

Apprentice Laura Birkett and Giles Barker of Flixborough Eco Technologies

Having held a management position within construction giant Keepmoat, he saw the potential in raising efficiencies and lowering carbon footprints, forming Flixborough Eco Technologies in September 2012.

Mr Barker launched in September 2012 “off the back of a wealth of knowledge and experience in the renewable sector”.  He said: “I was part of Keepmoat and it was a massive learning curve.  I got the bug for renewable in 2008 when I was first asked to look into it.

“I really got into it, to the point where I was following people round, switching lights off.  I got a real buzz from it.

“Then in 2012 I started to make the transition to do things off my own back, I thought I could do it better.  Now we are at a real point of progression.  We are getting some good enquiries in.  We have gone from just myself in the business to another chap taken on (technical director Stuart Turner), and now we have taken on our first apprentice, Laura, in business administration.  We are also training her up to fully understand the renewable.  It is not just paper filing, it is learning about exactly what we are doing.”

Mr Barker was renewable energies design manager for the Doncaster-based business and was brought up in Whitton, the Humber bank village.  His dad had a family business operating from Flixborough and Mr Barker launched from that unit but last June, he moved to Normanby Gateway on Lysaghts Way, Scunthorpe.

An office is being taken on at the Business Hive in Dudley Street, Grimsby and Lincoln may also be considered.

“It is all heading in the right direction,” he said.  “Northern Lincolnshire is very close to my heart and we haven’t had one person we haven’t been able to help.”

From offices to dairy farms, fish processing factories to data centres for international blue chip financial institutions, the work has been varied.  “We have chased all over the country, now we are doing a really big push for local work.”

Mr Barker added; “It is still early days but very exciting.  We are getting there and starting to employ local people.  We want to grow a local presence; we don’t want anyone to have to go out of the country to get people they don’t know if they are reputable.”

Laura Birkett, 17, is the apprentice, having studied at Frederick Gough and the John Leggott College.  Laura said: “The experience of being an apprentice is excellent as I am learning new skills whilst gaining more qualifications at the same time. Apprenticeships give people an insight into what working life is and I think it is a brilliant opportunity to better yourself, especially if you’re like me and feel that university isn’t the right path for you to take. I have only been an apprentice since the beginning of March but I’m really enjoying it and I believe it is the start of my career.

“Apprenticeships get teenagers motivated to work and the bonus is that they are getting paid to do so! I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone aged 16-18 who is unsure on how to progress their career.”