“Apprentice of the Year” Alex McGrath is powering his way to success at Inovus Medical

22 Jul 2019



Alex McGrath, Electronics and Product Engineer at Inovus Medical and winner of St Helens Chamber’s ’Apprentice of the Year Under 20’ category has already seen plenty of success in the first year of his career. Alex has made himself indispensable to the team at Inovus Medical and has made a fantastic impression on senior management after completing his Apprenticeship with St Helens Chamber.

Originally, Alex worked in Maplin Electronics while he studied at College, before he was recruited by Inovus.

Alex explained: “I always had an interest in working with electronics so I got a part-time job at Maplin while I was in College. I was working one afternoon and a man came in and requested some parts for an electronic product he was prototyping.

“I always enjoyed trying to find out how I could help the customers – this was the best part of the job – so I got talking to him and suggested an alternative way of developing his prototype; he was so impressed he gave me his business card and said we should work together.”

The customer was Jordan Van Flute, Co-Founder and CTO at Inovus Medical, who was impressed by Alex’s knowledge and professionalism at such a young age.

Jordan explained: “Alex’s level of knowledge in electronics really sparked my interest and it became apparent that he had a huge interest along with a natural ability to design and manufacture.

“When we spoke further, he said he didn’t feel he would benefit from formal higher education. So I invited Alex to meet with our co-founder and CEO Elliot Street. After spending 30 minutes with Alex both of us realised he had incredible amounts of talent and would be an asset to Inovus Medical.”

Jordan approached St Helens Chamber to enrol Alex onto an Apprenticeship programme, having used the Chamber to train a previous Apprentice.

Jordan continued: “The Apprenticeship has proven valuable to Alex to allow him to formalise his very obvious talents and give him a qualification from which we hope he will continue to build his knowedge over the coming years.”

Alex added: “I knew university wasn’t for me, so when Jordan and Elliot offered me the chance to complete an Apprenticeship with St Helens Chamber I happily accepted. The support I received was fantastic.

“I had dedicated time where I could research and get my work done but also had time to dedicate to my Apprenticeship and learning on the job, so it’s been the perfect balance for me.”

While working at Inovus, during his first six months Alex achieved things that “senior product engineers with decades of experience would struggle to achieve”; redesigning key products and cutting manufacturing costs on one product by 50%. Without an Apprenticeship, this wouldn’t have been made possible.

Alex commented: “I couldn’t stand sitting in a classroom, I wanted practical experience so I could show what I can do, rather than a degree which just shows that I understand the theory. I would recommend that anyone who feels the same should do an Apprenticeship as it’s given me the chance to learn much more than I would have in a classroom.”

Alex’s achievements have been recognised by everyone at Inovus and the wider business community, with him winning the award for ‘Apprentice of the Year Under 20’ at St Helens Chamber’s 2019 Business Awards.

As a full-time employee, Alex designs and manufactures all the electronics at the company, he also has access to product design software to create custom electronics and is continuing his learning with extra training.

Elliot Street, Co-Founder and CEO of Inovus Medical, commented: “We plan to enrol Alex on CAD and project engineering courses in the future and his Apprenticeship has given him the ability to engage with this kind of formal training, which is fantastic for his future development.

“We have every faith that he will become a senior product engineer and even move into management positions at the company at some point in his career.”

If you’d like to complete an Apprenticeship like Alex at Inovus Medical, get in touch with our Apprenticeship team today on 01744 742045 or email apprenticeships@sthelenschamber.com