Midlands air firm expands footprint on 30th anniversary

Left to right; Keziah Frost, Olivia Harrison, Sally Lucas, Lauren Elstone and Georgia Lucas

A Midlands-based provider of compressed air services is now expanding its footprint and recruiting new apprentices to meet growing demand.

Direct Air, whose head office is based on Binley Industrial Estate in Coventry, is expanding into a neighbouring 6,687 sq ft unit on Herald Way as the business marks its 30th anniversary.

The additional space will serve as a modern two-storey office block incorporating warehousing space to complement the existing head office, which is currently the central hub for the majority of Direct Air’s 50-employee work force.

It comes as the £8 million turnover business has received an increased number of enquiries and orders since the Covid pandemic from manufacturers that rely on compressed air to create products, in industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceutical, automotive and many more.

Demand for the compressed air specialists’ services is being driven by a need for businesses to tackle rising costs and the global challenge of climate change, which Direct Air has been able to address by helping customers to save thousands of pounds annually, as well as reducing energy usage.

To ensure the business continues to have enough resources to keep up with demand, it is working with Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber Training on an ongoing basis to recruit office-based apprentices.

Those recruited so far are supporting the business in marketing, health and safety, and service support.

Allan Dolby, Managing Director at Direct Air, said: “Chamber Training has removed the barriers of finding individuals with the right skillsets, which is helping us to continue our long-term growth.

“We’ve been able to work closely with them from the outset to tell them what skills we need for certain roles, and not only has Chamber Training been able to identify young and hungry talent, but they have been able to provide the right training for them along the way.

“Not only have we seen our apprentices grow in confidence and deliver tangible results, but they have grown to love their place of work, and as such, we are extremely proud that they are continuing to grow with us as a business.

“For any businesses seeking to recruit skilled workers – regardless of their sector – I would recommend contacting Chamber Training, as they have the knowledge and contacts to help businesses tackle what is a growing problem.”

Four existing members of staff have joined Direct Air via the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber Training programme in recent years.

The programme sees the Chamber working with hundreds of businesses across the region to create tailored training programmes and sees students splitting their time between theoretical learning with the Chamber, and paid work-based roles.

This includes Georgia Lucas who completed her Level 3 Business Administration qualification and is now a Marketing Co-Ordinator at the firm, while Georgia’s colleague Lauren Elstone is now working in Direct Air’s service support team after completing her Level 2 Business Administration qualification.

Keziah Frost has also recently secured a full-time role as the company’s HSQE Administrator having passed the same course as Georgia.

Sally Lucas, Executive Director at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber Training, added: “Future proofing skilled workforces is going to play a key role in helping businesses to not only survive, but to thrive, and Direct Air are proof to other business owners that barriers can be overcome if they seek professional advice.

“Every business has its own unique challenges, which we take into account to give each company we work with the best chance of attracting staff that will help them to stand out and capitalise on opportunities in their respective market places.

“I look forward to seeing Direct Air go from strength-to-strength and would urge other businesses that are seeking to upskill and recruit to get in touch with us.”