A Rotherham auto electrical company motored through lockdown by keeping key workers and the nation’s truckers on the road.

Demand was so high, family-run Maltby Auto Electrical Services Ltd ramped up its online warehouse division, Splitcharge.co.uk.

Staff were redeployed from other areas of the business to ensure MAES could get urgently-needed parts to haulage and construction companies, teachers, NHS staff and other key workers.

The company, normally also operates a trade counter, workshop and mobile engineers and supplies motorists, retail and fleet operators, plus vintage car and camper van markets.

During lockdown the company found it was in a secure enough position to keep its commitment to an apprentice it had planned to take on in March.
“We are one of a number of businesses who have experienced positives from lockdown,” said Ann Ogley, MAES Finance Director. It gave us an opportunity to evaluate and reorganise the business to make the most of the surge in trade from our eBay shop.

“Companies returning to work are currently having to work out safe ways of working. That is what we had to do in March and it’s second-nature to us now.”

MAES set up individual staff work stations and made PPE available to ensure a safe working environment. Seven weeks into lockdown, Hayley Barker (pictured),18, joined the warehouse division as a customer service apprentice.

“We kept our commitment to Hayley,” said Ann, whose husband Richard is the MD and son of the founder. We needed her because we are so busy. But also we strongly feel this year’s school and college-leavers deserve the chance to start careers. We urge other local businesses to take up apprentices. It takes time to train someone, but the result is a worker who does the job exactly the way you need them to. Our auto electrical apprentices have proved invaluable to us and we believe Hayley will be too.

The Source Skills Academy in Sheffield recruited Hayley for MAES as a Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner and will be overseeing her workplace learning.

“I jumped at a role with Maltby Auto Electrical because of their camper van specialism. I’ve helped my dad rebuild two campers.”

Within days of being offered her position, the pandemic hit the UK.
“It could have meant another career setback for me but they still took me on,” said Hayley. “I am so grateful for this opportunity.”