Tynesider Grant Thackray – nicknamed Geordie Shore by his new workmates – reckons the reality of life on the factory floor beats anything the hit TV show has to offer.
The 18-year-old from West Denton believes he’s landed the starring role, having been taken on as Express Engineering’s 200th employee.
Hobbies which include going to the gym and a liking for a tan and the latest hair products have earned Grant – a metal stamper – the nickname, which he says only adds to the appeal of the factory floor environment.
He said: “The lads have been giving me a bit of stick as I have a bit of a quiff going on and I like tanning beds and keeping myself in shape but it’s just in jest and it’s great to be working with such a good bunch of people.
“I have always wanted a career in engineering and I’m hoping that being actively involved in the industry will provide me with the springboard to an apprenticeship and achieving my aims in the future.”
Previously Grant worked in a supermarket and had a job as a bricklayer, neither of which he really enjoyed. Now he feels completely at home at Express carrying out duties including testing the thickness and hardness of metal components and labelling them before distribution.
Grant is the latest staff member to join The Express Engineering team, following the recruitment of around 50 new people in recent months.
The increase in orders for the company’s precision engineered components – especially in the offshore oil and gas sector – has seen the company expand its manufacturing space by 20,000 sq. ft. with the addition of a new factory at Princess Park, just a stones throw from the Kingsway Headquarters.
It has also invested in and expanded a 50/50 joint venture in Brazil, taking total spending on expansion over the past three years to more than £6 million.
Managing Director, Nigel Davison, said: “We are delighted to welcome Grant and many other new faces to a rapidly expanding team. These are exciting times for us and we hope that they will all enjoy the experience of being part of a growing business, developing new skills and products.”