Apprentice successes put in spotlight by award-winning Lord for National Apprenticeship Week

Naw Matthew Smith
Matthew Smith, of Lord Combustion Services

Apprentices trained by multi-award winning commercial heating specialists Lord Combustion Services are encouraging others to follow in their footsteps as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic Lord Combustion, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary year, has continued investing in apprenticeship training, helping young people change their lives through getting on the employment ladder via on the job paid vocational training.

This year’s National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), which will take place between 7 and 13 February (, has the theme of “Build the Future”. The 15th annual week-long celebration will take place across England, encouraging individuals of any age to reach their career goals by building their skills and knowledge through an apprenticeship.

Lord apprentices have been recognised nationally for their achievements in working for a leading company recognised for its high standards in serving more than 1000 customers from its base in Dudley Road East, Oldbury.

Matthew Smith was named as a finalist for the H&V News Awards apprentice of the year (21 and under) award, organised as part of the national industry news titles annual celebrations of high achievement, on the back of his level of performance in 2021.

Matthew joined in 2019 and has progressed from doing his apprenticeship to taking on a higher role with the company. He is now employed as a contracts engineer, working with colleagues throughout the business in serving clients across the West Midlands.

Matthew said: “Having progressed in my career an apprenticeship I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn and earn while they work. I’ve picked up lots of new skills, backed with formal qualifications, and learned how to play my part in a company.

“I had always been interested in science and engineer and joined Lord on an apprenticeship, as part of which I have completed my HNC in building services engineering, as well as an NVQ in the same discipline. On the back of completing the apprenticeship I have enrolled in my bachelor’s degree in building services engineering, which is a three-year course.

“I have grown my responsibilities carry out site surveys, quoting for work, planning projects including access needed and deliveries. I also do labour planning to make sure we have got the jobs organised for the entire week and at the end of the month I do the invoicing.”

Lord has a proud history of seeing apprentices progress within the company. Greg Jones was appointed to the board of directors last year, 10 years after joining as an apprentice. He was also shortlisted for the young leader award at the 2021 West Midlands Leadership Awards.

Having hit new high standards over recent years, November Lord scooped two leading awards at the 2021 Black Country Chamber of Commerce Awards, the service business of the year prize along with Emma Tibbetts winning director of the year, as well as the sustainability trophy at the West Midlands Business Masters Awards, organised by regional news website Business Desk.

Managing Director Stuart Smith said: “Lord’s success has been built on the skills and experience of our staff. Training apprentices and seeing them progress within the company is pleasing and we will continue to invest in young people moving forward.

“We recognise the value that apprentices can bring to the culture of the company. We retain several field-based craft apprentices and also have a history of supporting the Armed Forces covenant in providing training positions for military service leavers.

“We are also open to staff undertaking higher levels of apprenticeships including managerial and other developmental qualifications as they give formal training which allows the company to build growth.”

Matthew Smith Lord Combustion
Matthew Smith at Lord Combustion’s HQ

Lord Combustion Services serve a cross section of customers in a range of sectors, from landmark buildings such as Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s Edgbaston cricket ground, through to NHS sites, schools and other public buildings.

Despite the disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns, the company reported a successful 2021 having grown revenues and profits while increasing staffing levels to nearly 50 employees.

Since forming in 1982, Lord Combustion Services has gone from originally being a mechanical contractor specialising in service and commissioning of gas and oil-fired equipment to now supporting customers across all aspects of mechanical and electrical building services.

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