MCR Services has recruited a 20-year-old budding entrepreneur as its second ever apprentice as the family-run business continues to grow.

Ethan Elliott has joined the Cramlington-based firm and has begun a Level 3 qualification in business administration, which involves him spending a day a week at Newcastle College.

He was welcomed by production supervisor Matthew Fretwell, who himself started out as the company’s first apprentice shortly after the business was founded in 2011.

MCR Services, which specialises in contract packing, quality inspection, reworking, labelling and preparing items for distribution, is forecasting further growth after its revenue soared 88 percent during 2021/22.

Matthew puts this down partly to the shift towards making online purchases, which accelerated during the pandemic. As a result, it is developing its capabilities as a returns centre.

The company, which also undertakes more technical work surrounding the replacement or repair of components, is proving increasingly attractive to clients due to its synergy with sister company Moody Logistics and Storage, which offers warehousing and a dedicated transport fleet at its shared site.

After completing his A levels, Ethan, from Ashington, joined a packaging company in Northumberland where he worked as a production operative.

However, after learning that MCR Services were seeking an apprentice, he quickly applied as it offered an opportunity to progress his career by gaining experience across a range of roles.

Ethan, who also runs his own part-time business buying and selling clothes, said: “Rather than concentrating on a single job, this gives me the chance to gain a much wide experience of the whole business.

“Matthew is a great mentor as he appreciates just what it’s like to be an apprentice. I’m pleased to have joined MCR Services as it gives me the ability to progress my career by learning new skills.”

Matthew Fretwell added: “Ethan is doing well and is really switched on, having had a similar role in his previous job. However, it’s a reflection of MCR’s willingness to invest in the next generation that he jumped at the chance of an apprenticeship which provides a strong foundation to build a promising career.”