A mobile phone repair business has launched a training academy as part of its ambitious expansion plans.
In the last 12 months, Newcastle-under-Lyme-based TMT First has grown its workforce to in excess of 100 staff after seeing a huge increase in demand for its repair services during lockdown.
The Samsung Authorised Repair Partner, which is based in Chesterton, has already recruited operational, sales, customer service, warehouse staff and managers.
But now the Holditch Road business is looking to fill up to 20 trainee repair technician roles before the end of March.
Jaime De Caso, director of sales at TMT First, said: “Because retail is struggling and many shops are closing down, more and more people are approaching the manufacturer for repairs to their devices, so the demand to repair phones on behalf of Samsung – which is our authorised partner – has shot up.
“We’ve been trying to recruit more engineers for a good while now, but there is a finite amount of people in the market and the number of engineers that are required is growing all the time.
“So our answer to that was to make our own engineers from scratch.
“Our head of repair used to run a repair training academy for Samsung in Romania, so it’s something that he has done before; and personally, I was very conscious that there’s not a lot of opportunity at the moment for young people who are trying to get into the workplace.”
Jaime added: “So we thought there would be a lot of interest if we offered a training course for people to learn how to become a technician and repair phones. We have had hundreds of applications so far, from people aged anywhere between about 19 to 30 plus.”
TMT First launched its training academy on January 4.
The company has created a mini repair centre at its Holditch House site which has the capacity to take five trainees at a time with social distancing.
Candidates who have been accepted into the academy will be required to complete a two-week course which combines theory and practical work.
Jaime said: “The idea is, rather than starting somebody at, what could be, quite an intimidating repair centre to shadow somebody and learn as they go along, they can have the full attention of a tutor on how to do the job in an environment which is a mini version of the repair centre.
“So when they go in there they know what they’re doing straight away, they’re given their own work station but there’s still plenty of experienced people in there to help them.”
The first 12 candidates have already been recruited, but there is up to 20 positions still available up until the end of March.
And the company expects vacancies to become available in other areas of the business as the repair capacity grows.
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Jaime added: “We want to grow our workforce. The biggest thing we’re looking for is attitude, somebody who has a genuine interest in technology and can demonstrate that interest, as well as a willingness to learn and a positive attitude.”
TMT First received a ‘ruck of orders’ in December when its mobile recycler brand Meelie Mobile featured on Channel 4 documentary ‘The Truth About Amazon’ where it was compared with leading household names such as Mazuma for consistently offering customers the highest price when using its smartphone trade-in service.
Over the next 12 months the company plans to expand into larger space to accommodate its growing workforce.
It is looking to move into an additional 43,000 sq ft of space when the company it currently shares its headquarters with relocates later this year.
To apply for a place on the TMT First training academy – or for any other vacancies – visit the careers page on the company’s website or search all of the major UK job boards.