3rd Annual Veterans Lunch

3rd Annual Veterans Lunch


Last Friday, we celebrated our 3rd Annual Veterans lunch for all employees across the AF Switchgear business who have achieved 25 years or more continuous service.

This year saw an additional 4 employees who received their 25-year award. This is a huge testament to the family-owned company, one of which we are immensely proud of, and we thank you all for your continued commitment to AF Switchgear.

Overall, we celebrated a huge 586 combined years of service from just 20 employees, averaging 29.3 years each. 

Despite Storm Babet making the journey impossible for a few of our employees, those that were able to attend enjoyed an afternoon of celebrations.

Below is the full list of employees and their years of service:

                                                                                                Years Service

Ken Eley                       Major Projects Engineer                            42

Ian Foster                     Group Managing Director                         37

Richard Thompson      Group Sales Director                                36

Bob Cooper                 Technician                                                   34

Richard Hill                  Team Leader Electrical Assembly           32

Robert Briggs               Sales Director                                            29

Mark Nutt                    Group Technical Director                          29

Darren Smalley            Senior Sales Estimating Engineer          29

Steve Sellars                 Senior Applications Engineer                 29

Dene Hutsby                Approved Electrical Fitter                        28

Stan Carter                   Team Leader Electrical Assembly         28

Dale Spelman              Approved Electrical Fitter                        27

Mick Kennedy              Technician                                                 27

Martyn Sutcliffe            Electrical Fitter                                        27

Edwin Chandler            Senior Applications Engineer                26

Bill Mills                       Electrical Fitter                                          26

Dale Wake                    Electrical Fitter                                         25

Mark Baker                   Site Services Technical Supervisor      25

Mike Harris                  Technical Consultant                              25

Steve Fells                    Team Leader Electrical Assembly        25


DCD & CBRE Events

DCD & CBRE Events

October started off very busy for the AF team with us attending the Data Center Dynamics Event followed by CBRE Global Workplace Solutions event, both in London. We welcomed many of our existing customers and also met lots of new customers helping and advising on their switchgear queries.

2023 Apprentice Intake at AF Switchgear

2023 Apprentice Intake at AF Switchgear

Our new Apprentice intake at AF Switchgear started their Apprenticeship programme last week. They will develop their career in various technical and non-technical disciplines via our 4 year programme supported with Vision West Nottinghamshire College .

AF Switchgear would like to pass on their congratulations to the new Apprentices and to wish them all the luck from all of us at the AF Family !

Annie Kirk, Apprentice of the year 2021

2021 Apprentice of the Year

AF Switchgear is delighted to announce our 2021 Apprentice of the Year winner, Annie Kirk!

Annie has been working in our Central Services Department covering a myriad of essential administration and support tasks for the company throughout the year.

Annie is pictured here with Mike Ratcliffe, Operations Manager and Central Services Director, Sharon Armiger.

Sharon said, “Well done to Annie, this award was well deserved – she has been a star”.

Congratulations to Annie from all at AF Switchgear.

AF Switchgear Acquires VAR

AF Switchgear Acquires VAR Services Ltd

After utilising VAR Services Ltd for many years the board of directors an opportunity arose to acquire VAR Services which is an excellent fit for the AF Switchgear Group, completing the purchase of the company in June 2021.

Managing Director Ian Foster said:

“VAR Services offer a comprehensive range of power quality solutions which are requested by AF Switchgear customers frequently. We knew how good VAR Services are from experience, as we have had a long-standing relationship with them utilising their products and services often. It really was a natural fit for us and helped bolster not only in-house expertise in relation to power quality but increased our portfolio of direct offerings to our clients as well”.

So, what do VAR Services offer and why did AF Switchgear acquire them?

The combination of reliable power, increasing energy costs and ever-growing focus on the environmental impact these days highlights the clear need for effective power quality.

VAR Services offer Power Factor Correction Solutions, Active Harmonic Filters, Voltage Stabilisers, Load Monitoring and Surge Protection etc.

What Do VAR Services Ltd Offer?


  • Power Factor Correction (PFC)
  • Detuned PFC Equipment
  • Active Harmonic Filters
  • Real-Time PFC Equipment
  • Maximum Demand Alarms
  • Energy & Power Quality Metering Systems
  • Lightning Surge Protection
  • Constant Voltage Transformers
  • Voltage Stabilisers/Optimisers

  • Power Factor Correction Surveys
  • Repair & Maintenance of PFC Equipment
  • Servicing of PFC Equipment
  • Servicing of Active Harmonic Filters
  • Metering – Supply, Install & Commission
  • Data Logging & Load Monitoring
  • Voltage Event Recording
  • Harmonic Monitoring & Analysis
  • Power Quality Monitoring & Reports
  • Thermal Imaging Reports
AF Switchgear Apprentices 2021

New Apprentice Intake 2021

2021 has seen a record number of applications for our Panel Building Apprenticeship Scheme.

Spokesman Lee Speed from West Nottinghamshire College states, “Interest this year has been unprecedented in the electrical sector, with over one hundred applications for apprenticeship positions within AF Switchgear”.

Following a series of college assessments, interviews and practical assignments we are delighted to announce five new apprentices who start their 4-year Level 3 BTEC and NVQ qualifications.

Panel Building is an ideal entry into the electrical industry, giving successful candidates the opportunity to develop their electrical engineering careers.

From all at AF Switchgear, we wish them all every success for the future.

#apprenticeships #careerdevelopment #futureengineers

From left to right – Alexander Peeters Weem, Joel Harrison, Holly Parker-Tinklin, Spencer Whittle & Harry Russell

Apprentice of the year award


In partnership with our training provider, West Notts College it was with pleasure that we were once again able to present this prestigious annual award.

Despite all the challenges thrown at our apprentices, not least those of virtual classrooms we are very pleased to announce that we had two outstanding candidates whom the awarding authority voted for to receive the award.

Both having demonstrated excellent qualities in a number of key performance-related categories in regard to their individual training plans.

So on behalf of all staff at AF Switchgear, congratulations to:

Jack Glebocki – Fabricator and Welder Apprentice
Kai Lancashire – Electrical Apprentice

Presented by Managing Director, Ian Foster and Operations Manager, Mike Ratcliffe both received a trophy, a £250 tool voucher from our sponsor Protrade Tools and Fixings plus a box of our very own AF Switchbeer!

Techincal Director Mike Harris

Techincal Director Mike Harris Retires

After 23 years of loyal service at AF Switchgear, our Mike Harris retired his role yesterday on the 31st March as Technical Director.

He started his Engineering Career in the West Country (Cornwall to be precise!) well over 50 years ago before moving onto senior roles at Applied Energy and Brentford Electric.

Mike’s achievements over the years have had an immense impact on our company and through ingenuity and passion, completely changed the way we build and operate today.

It is no exaggeration to say, the whole team has benefited from Mike’s experience and technical guidance over the last 23 years, and for that, we owe him a debt of gratitude.

Fortunately, though we are not having to say goodbye quite yet!

Mike will be working for AF Switchgear in a part-time consultancy role from next month, assisting in product development and technical assistance.

So from all the staff at AF Switchgear, we wish you well Mike and we look forward to working with you on the other side!

Achilles Member

Achilles BuildingConfidence Advanced

AF Switchgear Is Now a Validated Achilles BuildingConfidence Advanced Member

In addition to our Achilles TransQ Global accreditation for the Transport sector, AF Switchgear can now proudly announce that the company is now also a validated Achilles BuildingConfidence Advanced Member for the Construction sector.

Achilles is a Supply Chain Management system which collects and validates supplier data to mitigate risk. Achilles use a registration process, risk models, comprehensive pre-qualification questionnaires and (for advanced members) a two day audit, to create a platform where buyers can find qualified partners and suppliers who can prove their credentials.

Achilles work across 10 sectors and more than 20 countries.

What is the Achilles BuildingConfidence Advanced Membership?

This is official certification to recognise companies that meet standards in the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) and the Common Assessment Standard (CAS). This means AF Switchgear are officially a business that provides safety first in all levels of service.

This membership also connects suppliers and buyers nationwide and the scheme helps to build and support lasting business relationships within the health & safety and construction industries.

The main goals of the Achilles BuildingConfidence scheme is to:

  • Boost business credibility
  • Enhance company reputation and value
  • Increase opportunities for the business
  • Identify any areas for improvement

Contact Our Team

AF Switchgear is a proud Achilles BuildingConfidence member.

For all enquiries contact our team on +44 1623 555 600 or via email to sales@afswitchgear.co.uk

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