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Expanding technical support with new apprentice

To better support its customers with their power control solutions for elevators, automation parts supplier CP Automation has recruited Bedford-based Shai Fearon as an apprentice applications engineer.

In his role, 21-year-old Fearon will be using his engineering skills to provide hands-on customer support on the entire CPA product range including the Magnetek brand of AC/DC drives. CP Automation’s apprenticeship scheme will help it source and develop difficult-to-find talent and gain a competitive edge.

CP Automation specialises in the supply, repair, and servicing of automation solutions such as AC/DC drives, UPS (ARD) systems and also power quality devices – and as such, recruitment can be challenging.

Specialists in their Application Support team must have a good knowledge of these technologies, while also being experienced in elevator control systems that are a key area for CP Automation’s business.

To better source this hard-to-find talent, CP Automation has piloted a scheme with Bedford College that offers apprenticeships to local students with an interest in engineering. Fearon’s appointment is a first for the scheme.

“Working in a niche industry can make recruitment difficult, and the chances of finding someone that understands our product portfolio are slim,” said Brian Preston, General Manager at CP Automation. “Apprenticeships are a great way to secure core transferable skills and help CP Automation fine tune its lift offering. We can teach new recruits everything from elevator principles to motor control system design and programming.”

“I was a technician apprentice many years ago and, as an engineer, it gives you valuable life experience,” continued Preston. “We’re confident that we have made the right choice with Shai. The apprenticeship lasts three years, but we see his appointment as a long-term investment, both for our elevator division and CP Automation’s future.”

“The apprenticeship route spoke to me,” said Shai Fearon, apprentice applications engineer at CP Automation. “After doing a year at Sixth Form and another two years at college, I knew I wanted to work with my hands. I’ve always liked problem solving and learning how things work, so a career in engineering was an obvious choice. No two days are the same – you’re always doing something different, and you don’t get this variety in an office job.”

CP Automation offers various products aimed at the elevator industry. These include AC/DC drives, UPS (ARD) solutions to operate the elevator in a loss of power scenario, SineTamer transient voltage surge suppression (TVSS) devices that protect sensitive equipment like car controllers and PC servers, and REVCON Harmonic Filters (RHF), which prevent supply line harmonic distortion created by nonlinear loads and sources.

Fearon joins an experienced engineering team that regularly carries out site surveys, installations, and training for customers.

“Brian has been showing me the ropes,” added Fearon. “I’ve enjoyed seeing the inside of elevator rooms and learning how the technology operates. I’ve been busy programming drives for different applications and elevators, which has been fun.

“I’ve really developed as a person since starting, and I would definitely recommend this path to anyone looking at engineering.”

To find out more about CP Automation’s current vacancies and job roles, contact Brian Preston at or call  01234 349191.