Setting the Foundations for the Future – Hythe Group Prepares to Scale Up

Behind the scenes, Hythe Group has been going through business restructuring and transformation, setting the foundations for its business growth goals. A big part of this has been bringing on Chris Dionne of
Consult Stellar; a highly experienced business consultant with 25 years of expertise in training, educating, and coaching business owners and executives.

In this article, we get to know more about Chris and his company and delve into some of Chris’s key suggestions for business growth. 

Realising Untapped Potential with Chris Dionne from Consult Stellar

Chris Dionne has a background in building companies and sustainability, applying his knowledge to his own businesses and numerous small-to-medium enterprises worldwide. 

He has worked with divisions of large corporations, CEOs, and business owners, and holds several advisory board positions.

In 1999, he co-founded Shirlaws Group, a successful business coaching and consulting firm. In 2017, Chris founded Stellar Business Consulting, a boutique firm with a collaborative team of business leaders. 

Chris brings a unique level of expertise in understanding economic cycles and leveraging market opportunities. Clients of Chris increase their performance and achieve their goals due to his undeniable ability to realise their untapped potential.

About Stellar Consulting

Stellar Consulting help business owners and leaders, realise their personal and professional potential, and ultimately improve their business asset. Each team member is or has been a business owner and therefore understands to varying degrees the challenges a business faces. One prime example of Stellar’s work is Cohort, a company that grew from $5M in revenue to $28M in 6 years.

Cohort – Start-Up to International Player

Cohort’s specific goal was to become a mature, high-performing and formidable business within their industry sector, so an intense project over 100 days was launched. Working with Cohort’s leadership team, Stellar focused on developing high-performing functional structures, clarifying the business’ products and positioning, and building a collaborative, growth-focused culture.

The result of this intensive scale-up was Cohort Global transforming dramatically over a six-year period. Throughout the journey, Stellar set up board structures and assisted with a partial exit in 2014 and a full exit in 2016. 

The headlines: 

  • Revenue growth of $23M ($5M – $28M over 6 yrs)
  • Scaling to international size and reputation
  • Strong culture and team that attracts top talent
  • Successful succession strategy allowing the owners to focus on their next areas of interest and activate their renewed vision as business entrepreneurs

View more: Case Studies | Consult Stellar


Interview with Chris Dionne: Growing Businesses Successfully

How do you adapt your approach when working with different types of companies and industries?

Each business is as diverse as the people who work in it, so mostly our approach is based on the client. But we have identified 20 key business requirements that transcend industry and size: all businesses have basic fundamental needs that are consistent globally. 

When looking at different industries, each will have its own cycle where approaches and needs vary. We generally operate across market conditions and know what’s happening, and then we talk with the team to understand what specific issues they might be facing and focus on an “education process” to undertake change management.

For Hythe Group, I will support the business in becoming a more mature, robust, and therefore leading, operative in its sectors as well as Mentoring Josh as CEO. This is achieved by tapping into my experience and background to move through the required change using our unique business tool kit that will be transferred to the business.

Getting our foundation right from the outset will create new job opportunities and career growth for people that come on the journey, we will all need to learn new things and adopt new ways to take on competitors. If we have that mindset, we can leverage numerous aspects of the business and our team can grow, learn more skills and share the exciting journey as a community.


How do you approach identifying areas for improvement in business processes?

We always ask the business. Due to our experience, we can usually spot things that we know will be prime opportunities. But it’s still fundamental that we ask the team what’s happening on the ground for them. We do this by having a “fact find” at the beginning of every assignment, where we want to interview a cross-section of the team from all divisions and layers in the organisation. We ask basic things like what’s working well and what isn’t, and more creative questions like ‘If you had a magic wand what would you change?’ This helps people to think outside the box of what they know, perhaps identifying some hidden blockages in the business that we can address.


How do you measure the success of a consulting project?

Success differs depending on the client and what their vision for their future is, both professionally for the business but also for themselves and their family. When I see a client start to shift their energy, which might be a renewed vigour for their business and their team as well as commercial improvement, then I know I’m on the right track working with them. 


What advice would you give to companies looking to improve their business processes?

Whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Especially in turbulent economic times when it can be a bit uncertain what action to take, sometimes taking no action can be the worst thing. Consider what you might need to do to create a mindset shift. You may need to take some counterintuitive action – zig when everyone else is zagging. This type of thinking is well worth bringing in outside help to assist you in reframing the context. 


Stellar Consulting and Hythe Group

Chris will be assisting the Hythe  Group to build the relevant systems, processes, disciplines, and foundations required to underpin and realise future growth aspirations in a controllable manner. This business decision has highlighted for our community the company’s commitment to growth, employee development and well-being, and building fruitful career opportunities within Hythe Group. 

Click here to learn more about Hythe Group and Stellar.


For more information on our services please get in touch with our team via the button below.

Simon Purdue Joins as Solutions Architect, Spearheading Business Systems Enhancement

Hythe Group is thrilled to welcome Simon Purdue as Solutions Architect for a six-month placement. Simon brings a wealth of experience and expertise, having previously worked at BAE Systems for over a decade. In his role, Simon will focus on optimising the functional aspects of the business by developing efficient systems and processes. We sat down with Simon to discuss his role, expectations, and goals during his time at Hythe.

Understanding the Role of a Solutions Architect

As a Solutions Architect, Simon’s primary responsibility is to gain a comprehensive understanding of how Hythe operates and translate that knowledge into a set of requirements for various new business applications. His journey began with an Initial Assessment and Discovery phase, during which he delved into the existing systems, data, and their utilisation in the company’s processes. Based on this, Simon will formulate user and business requirements, which will be presented to carefully chosen vendors capable of meeting Hythe’s specific needs.

Motivation to Join Hythe

Simon’s decision to join Hythe was fueled by the exciting challenge he saw in helping the organisation enhance its systems through better integration. His extensive experience at BAE Systems equipped him with valuable insights that could be applied at Hythe Group. 

Expectations and Goals for the Placement

Simon’s primary objective over the next six months is to provide the necessary discovery and requirements documentation for Group Head of IT and Telecommunications, David Thackray and Hythe’s leadership team, to identify the systems that require replacement and integration. Rather than reinventing the wheel, he aims to leverage existing knowledge and maintain a clear view of the master data. These initial months will primarily revolve around discovery and requirements gathering, with subsequent months focusing on the implementation of new solutions.

A Typical Day in the Role

Currently, Simon spends his days engaging with various stakeholders across the organisation, gathering information and building a comprehensive picture of the applications, systems, data, and processes. As his tenure progresses, he will conduct deeper dives into specific processes by meeting with different teams within the business.

Passion for the Industry

Simon’s interest in the field of technology and computing, coupled with a desire to assist others, sparked his initial fascination with the industry. With almost three decades of experience in IT, he has transitioned from resolving technical issues to exploring ways to optimise technology utilisation in business environments.

Background and Preparation

Simon’s early years in IT, particularly his role as a support technician, laid a strong foundation for his current position. Understanding how computers function and communicate with each other provided him with valuable insights into information flow within a business. His familiarity with a wide range of applications and their interoperability allows him to effectively assess Hythe’s existing infrastructure and propose future improvements.

Life Beyond Work

When he’s not spending quality time with his family and unwinding in the garden, Simon indulges in his passion for cycling: commuting to and from work, enjoying weekend rides, and participating in occasional competitions. 

Welcome to Hythe Group

Hythe Group is delighted to have Simon on board as the Solutions Architect, tasked with streamlining and enhancing the organisation’s systems and processes. With his wealth of experience and passion for technology, Simon is well-positioned to contribute to Hythe’s growth and success. We’re looking forward to the positive impact he will make during his six-month placement.


From Hospitality to the Marine Industry: Meet Hythe Marine Services’ Sales Executive

Hythe Marine Services is a marine industry specialist, focused on engineering for the defence and, more recently, commercial sectors. To support the growth and diversification of HMS, Paul Grier has joined the team as Sales Executive. Working closely with HMS’ Head of Sales Sarah Powell, Paul will be managing new and existing customers and building the brand’s reputation. 

We spoke to Paul to find out more about his career, new role, and goals for HMS. 

Introducing Paul Grier 

When Paul is off the clock, he enjoys spending his spare time keeping fit and being outdoors. Whether it’s running, coaching cricket or football, Paul is happiest when being active. He’s even starting his football coaching awards! 

Paul also enjoys spending time with his family and on the weekends, Paul enjoys nothing more than sitting in a field camping, drinking wine next to a campfire. 

During lockdown, Paul built his own cabin in the garden – something to be proud of for sure!

Hythe Marine Services Head of Sales

Paul’s Career and Ambition

At the start of his career, Paul was in the hospitality industry running bars and restaurants. When it was time to start a family, Paul left the business of hospitality and moved into sales. This career path has taken him through numerous different industries, including bread and confectionery, tools, tool hire, and finally his penultimate role for a chemical company as a Marine Specialist for the cruise line and ferry industries. 

Hythe Marine Services Head of Sales
The highlight of Paul’s career so far was working abroad on new cruise ships in Italy and Germany. Speaking on his move to Hythe Marine Services, Paul said, “After 6 years, I‘ve serviced my last cruise ship and will be leaving Ecolab. I have had a good few years and had the opportunity to install new cruise ships, visit European countries and meet many good people. I’m now starting a new chapter of my career at Hythe Marine Services. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”


What Will Paul’s Role as Sales Executive Involve?

As Sales Executive at HMS, Paul will be responsible for the commercial side of the business, increasing sales and bringing in new customers. On a  day to day basis, he will be managing the commercial accounts, following up with quotes and customers, and speaking to contacts to see what work and projects they have coming up and how Hythe Marine Services can help each customer. 

Although his role is mainly focused on the marine division of the Hythe Group of companies, Paul will be connecting customers with the relevant areas of the business such as Building, Fabrication, and HOSMU

Paul was originally interested in the role as he was keen for the challenge of a fresh slate, whereby the role was created for him and not being handed over. This really gives him the freedom to go after his vision for the company. He also has a strong background with the naval base, so felt he would fit in straight away – and he assures us this was the case!


Paul’s Vision for Hythe Marine Services

In the interim, Paul is looking forward to getting new systems in place and hitting the ground running with reaching out to customers of HMS. The overarching goal is to build on the Hythe brand in the commercial world and maximise our customer support and service across a range of industries. 

Hythe Marine Services Sales Executive
Get in touch with the team through our contact form, or connect with Paul on LinkedIn directly to discuss your upcoming projects.

Hythe Fabrication Services – a New Addition to Hythe Group of Companies

Josh Mathias appoints Scott Fitzgerald to head up his new company Hythe Fabrication Services

The Hythe Group of Companies is on a journey of continuous innovation. Listening to the needs of customers, the industry, and the insight of employees that are leaders in their respective fields is bringing forward new avenues for the business.

In their most recent move, Hythe Group’s Managing Director Josh Mathias has established a new company: Hythe Fabrication Services (HFS). Utilising decades of industry experience and the multifaceted skill of the workforce within Hythe Group Companies, HFS will expand the Group’s clientele and capabilities.

Josh has appointed Scott Fitzgerald to lead this new venture. We spoke with Scott to find out more about his career, expertise and motivations behind the new fabrication services company.


Introducing Scott Fitzgerald – Head of Operations at Hythe Fabrication Services

With over twenty years of roofing and cladding experience behind him, Scott’s existing industry reputation and knowledge gives HFS a solid foundation on which to grow the business. His career took him on projects all over the world, including leading a twelve-person-strong workforce for twelve years.

Fabrication Services cladding roofing



Scott is highly skilled in all aspects of cladding. From rain screen facades, to twin skin, composite, and trochal membrane roofing, he has the experience and knowledge to lead the new company on all manner of projects. Scott commented, “Every job is different, which pushes you to develop and learn with every project you do.” There’s no challenge that Scott won’t take on, and it’s this attitude that’s led to his success and reputation within the industry.

Speaking on what Scott will bring to this venture, Josh said, “Scott brings knowledge and experience within the roofing industry. He has run large teams and large projects within this sector and has the drive, reputation and capabilities to give a start-up the push it needs to get it off the floor.”


Vision and Goals for the New Company

The idea for HFS started with Scott, which he then took to Hythe Marine Services’ (HMS) Director Of Value Engineering Luke Fitzgerald. After discussing with Luke, they sat down with Josh to look into the feasibility and numbers. They came to the conclusion that it was a worthwhile venture for the Hythe Group of Companies.

Scott explained, “Having the Group in the background of HFS was a no-brainer. What they can offer ticked all of the boxes, and the company’s reputations are an added reassurance for our future customers. HMS’ services and the team’s experience behind us puts HFS a league above the rest.”

Josh recalled, “When Scott and Luke approached me I was intrigued. Scott has worked within Hythe Marines organisation before, and his work ethic and enthusiasm, as per his brother Luke, fits perfectly within the culture driven by the Group. The Group’s purpose is to develop environments or businesses for people to grow with and this approach has worked with Hythe Building Services and I have no doubt it will work with Hythe Fabrication Services. I look forward to building a business around Scott’s capabilities and using the Group structure to develop him, and the team that we’ll build as the company grows.“

But it’s not a one-sided deal. HFS will open the doors for more projects for HMS and the other companies, particularly on the commercial side. First and foremost, Scott is prioritising quality. He wants to establish a class one reputation by hunting for the best of the best when it comes to materials, and ensuring everything used has long guarantees. This quality-led mindset, alongside utilising his existing client base and industry reputation puts HFS in a very strong starting position.

In terms of projects, the new company’s workload will largely consist of industrial buildings and domestic flats. However, the team are looking forward to the challenge of taking on whatever comes through the door.

fabrication services cladding roofing twin skin membrane


What is Josh Mathias’ vision for Hythe Fabrication Services?

“We see many issues on-site, with late or incorrect deliveries, empty promises, repeated errors and poor quality finishes. The end clients or users need the reliability and quality and the ability to absorb reactive work at the same standards. This is the direction HFS will focus on in its infant years, building upon this reputation. During this time, the Hythe Group managing company will help develop the processes, education and teams to a level where the HFS management team are planning and building the company’s future.”

– Josh Mathias, Managing Director, Hythe Group


The Advantages for Employees and Customers

For existing employees of HMS and other companies of the Hythe Group, this new business brings exciting opportunities for the future. Most notably, an increased workload and ability to learn or develop skills in different applications. The skills within HMS will be essential to the success of HFS. Particularly the welders as they’ll be regularly helping out when the fabrication team are creating bespoke corners.

As a company that recognises the importance of apprentices in retaining skill, this new business has the potential to increase the number of apprenticeships being offered. Existing apprentices may also see themselves learning new skills, gaining new qualifications or working on projects they otherwise might not have been able to.

When asked whether the new company will bring new opportunities for staff, Josh told us, “Of course! Hythe Group offers efficiencies around time, cost and experience, to support and develop existing and new operating businesses. The group will provide guidance and focus on aligning the operating companies; we want the people within each business to grow and develop the companies. Naturally, businesses will cross over in specific capabilities, but it’s about working together to offer the client the best experience. Marine and Building services are already highlighting this capability. I am confident Hythe Fabrication Services will be bringing work to both their doors and the other way around.”

For future and existing clients of the Group, there are endless benefits. HFS will increase the services the companies can provide. Where a customer may have had to go elsewhere for metal fabrication as part of a project, it will now be available in one place.

Contact us to find out more about our fabrication services.

The Man Behind Hythe Building Services’ Electrical Services Division

A Conversation With Adventure-Seeker and Family Man Neil Mellor

Hythe Building Services (HBS) recently established an in-house electrical services division. Heading up this process and department as Electrical Operations Manager is Neil Mellor.  Neil will utilise over twenty years of industry experience and his well-respected reputation to grow the division. 


Speaking on the reasons behind the introduction of electrical services for HBS, Neil explained, “We are bringing in-house the ability to deliver the entire Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) package, as a collaborative team effort, all from a single source. This allows us to streamline the design and coordination of both disciplines, leading to greater efficiency and allowing us to build stronger relationships with our customers.”

Neil will oversee the whole process of the electrical division. From finding new clients, getting enquiries, pricing enquiries, managing the bid process, right through to managing the team that will deliver those projects to clients. 

To celebrate the new collaboration, we chatted to Neil to find out more about him, his career, and his goals for HBS Electrical. 


Introducing Neil Mellor

Outside of work, Neil is kept very busy by his two daughters, aged four and eighteen months. As his girls take up the majority of his time, Neil and his partner’s hobbies and pursuits tend to revolve around getting the family outdoors as much as he can. However, he still makes sure to find the time to play 5-a-side football with his friends. 

Neil’s long list of passions all centre around spending time outside. Whether it’s time in the mountains in Wales or the Lake District, rock climbing, motocross racing or kayaking, he’s always up for the next adventure. 

In fact, Neil has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro! Between a team of forty people, they raised a quarter of a million pounds for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. Leading up to the event, Neil spent a year volunteering for the Air Ambulance service, supporting events and holding collection buckets to raise money. 


Neil’s Electrical Services Career and Projects 

In 2000, Neil took his first steps in the electrical industry as a trainee project manager and electrical apprentice. After completing chose to stay with the business and work his way up through the ranks, eventually becoming Supervisor. 

Under his role as Supervisor, he ran one of the company’s largest projects – a large Transit Mess at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks in Cirencester. The successful completion of the project kicked off his journey into management. Neil was offered a role as a Contract Manager in 2008, managing teams of anywhere from fourteen to twenty-four people every week. But he didn’t stop there – Neil also became the qualifying supervisor for NICEIC compliance. 

In 2015, Neil joined a large M&E company – J&B Hopkins. The move meant he could get involved in large-scale projects over the one-million-pound bracket, further developing his commercial and financial awareness of project management. 

When working for J&B Hopkins, Neil worked on a variety of projects ranging from one and a half to five-million pound combined M&E value projects. These were mainly in commercial and residential projects, such as retirement villages, secondary schools, primary schools, and hospices. Here are some key examples from throughout his career: 

Testing Labs for Panasonic Avionics
Building testing labs for Panasonic Avionics, where they test the electrical equipment that goes on planes. Like the marine industry, electricals in avionics work at vastly different voltages and frequencies used in standard installations on land. So, the TV’s, audio systems, and other electronics are required to be tested in a lab.

CHP Roll-Out for Tescos Stores
Being involved in the rollout of energy-saving CHP (combined heating and power) units at Tescos stores across the south of England. These were basically large turbocharged V8 car engines running on natural gas to produce the heating for the store while generating electricity as a by-product and also feeding back into the National Grid.

Seventy-Three Property Private Retirement Village
Project managed the delivery of Luxury retirement village, Bishop Stoke in Eastleigh, from a mechanical and electrical perspective over two and a half years – including the expansion of the current energy centre to include additional plant and distribution and CHP to feed a district heating system serving blocks and individual residences

New Hospice Facility for St Wilfred’s Hospice in Bosham
This project involved the building of a bespoke new building for the charity that provide essential end of life care for patients who were currently working out of a dated facility that couldn’t cope with the high demand for beds. The project included full building-wide DALI lighting controls, centralised emergency lighting systems, state of the art nurse call systems and bespoke medical bedhead trunking designed in conjunction with the client and Cableflow

Town Centre Redevelopment in Addlestone, Surrey
A complete redevelopment of Addlestone town centre in Surrey. They demolished all the buildings around the council offices and built a new shopping centre and a huge residential development. It was a three-year project building the backbone infrastructure and a new energy centre, as the development was heated by district heating systems.

The Old Rectory – A Twenty-Six Million Pound House in Wimbledon
Working on the complete refurbishment and extension of a twenty-six million pound house in Wimbledon called the Old Rectory (previously owned by Henry VIII!).

Neil said, “This was a really good project to work on for two years. The walls were covered in tapestries and artwork, the ceilings were intricately corniced and the wood in the house was wonky and curved as it was built out of timber from old ships.”



The Significance of Reputation in The Building and Electrical Services Industry

It’s evident that reputation is incredibly important in any industry. Building on this, Neil explained, “Reputation is one of the hardest things to earn and harder still to regain if lost. But just as important, and what goes hand in hand with it, is honesty. If you’re not honest, you’ll never gain a good reputation. We’re looking to be the company, client’s trust, and we want to secure repeat work as people want to work with us, not just because it’s the best price on a sheet of four quotes.”

We also discussed what Neil sees as the characteristics of a strong electrical services team. He explained that having engineering at the heart of our drive to do the best job we can do makes us strong. Alongside this, it’s crucial to rely on and pass on our wealth of industry experience to the team – existing and new. 

Neil is hoping to use his existing reputation to be the company people want to come to because of the open communication and the collaborative nature, working toward the shared goal of getting the job done. 


What Makes HBS Electrical Stand Out?

As part of the Hythe Group of Companies, the marine industry background runs strong through the heart of the company. The backing of the Group and Hythe Marine Services is at the core of HBS’ quality. Neil explained, “The first thing I tell anyone when they ask about the company is that the pedigree of this service is born out of the marine services, the dockyard, and the Navy. It’s those sorts of values that mean we can really push the quality for our electrical services customers.”

Speaking on company growth, Neil said, “I want to try and grow the division organically. This means bringing people through and developing their skills, so you’ve got that complete buy-in of people who are passionate about the businesses success. I also want it to be collaborative, by creating an environment where everyone feels they can speak up. I’d be a fool if I sat here and said I couldn’t learn something new from someone who’d just joined the industry.”

Having in-house electrical services allows HBS to make sure a turn-key solution for M&E is provided to customers. The client receives a fully coordinated product, with a guarantee of quality as nothing can fall between the cracks of the services.


Contact us to find out more, or click here to connect with Neil on LinkedIn.


Hythe Marine Services and Sulnox Agree Partnership to Boost Maritime Sustainability

SulNOx Group Plc., a leading provider of products for fuel conditioning, emulsification, stabilisation and processing, and a Hythe Group company Hythe Marine Services have announced their recent partnership. 

Hythe Marine Services and Sulnox Agree Partnership to Boost Maritime Sustainability


The two Groups will collaborate to streamline the shipping industry’s adoption of SulNOx’s green technologies through Hythe Marine Services (HMS) expertise in the marine industry. 


Hythe Marine Services and SulNOx Group Plc.


Hythe Marine Services

HMS provides bespoke, turnkey design, engineering, fabrication and repair services to the marine industry. The team has a well-established background in both Commercial and Ministry of Defence projects, from small vessels to aircraft carriers and superyachts

“To be credible in front of the world’s most prestigious shipping companies, we must add engineering skills of the highest order to our scientific offering. Hythe Marine Services have all the necessary regulatory approvals to go aboard Naval and Merchant ships alike and have all the top-quality engineering capabilities that we need for an industry that moves over 90% of world trade. We are genuinely excited by this collaboration agreement.”

Ben Richardson, CEO of the SulNOx Group



SulNOx developed a hydrocarbon fuels conditioning and emulsifying process which enables more efficient fuel combustion, potentially leading to reduced fuel consumption and significantly lowered emissions for the shipping industry.

“As a British engineering company that has a strong connection to the Maritime Industry, we welcome the chance to work with SulNOx in the quest to help the shipping industry adopt this exciting and unique cost-saving green technology.”

Josh Mathias, Managing Director of the Hythe Group of Companies

Hythe Marine Services and Sulnox Agree Partnership to Boost Maritime Sustainability

What are the reasons behind the partnership?

Under the new partnership, SulNOx and HMS are bringing together the environmental science of SulNOx and the maritime engineering skills of HMS. 

By utilising Hythe Marine Services’s existing regulatory approvals for boarding Naval ships, customers can guarantee compliance with MoD protocol. 


What are the benefits of the partnership for customers? 

Joining forces will allow the two companies to effectively educate and deliver SulNOx’s proprietary technologies to the world’s largest shipping companies. The result is reduced fuel consumption for customers such as ship operators, which in turn reduces their costs. 

Furthermore, and arguably most importantly, the technology allows shipping companies to significantly reduce their toxic emissions. The two Groups hope the partnership will ultimately lead to a cleaner marine industry.


To discuss your next project contact us via the button below.


How to Make the Most of Your Apprenticeship


Becoming an apprentice is a valuable move in a young persons’ career, allowing you to learn from industry experts alongside formal education. But knowing how to make the most of your apprenticeship, and squeezing everything you can from the opportunity is what makes the real difference.

Hythe Group How To Make The Most of Your Apprenticeship Apprentices Standing Training

As most apprentices are new to the working world, they may not know all the tricks for getting ahead in their career. Following these tips will help you make a mark on the company you’re learning with, and succeed in your industry. 


How to Make the Most of Your Apprenticeship


1. Ask Questions, Listen, and Show Willingness to Learn

Apprenticeships allow you to learn directly from skilled workers with decades of experience and industry expertise. 

Throughout your apprenticeship, actively listen to your colleagues, ask questions every day and learn how they do things. 

The senior team at Hythe Group fully recognises the importance of training the next generation of workers. 

Senior Weld Inspector Paul Stone commented, “The younger generation is the future of Hythe Group. We’ve got to try and push the younger generation. If you didn’t have the youngsters coming through and learning the skills of the trades, the company would crumble.”


2. Accept and Go After Every Available Opportunity 

As well as your apprenticeship qualifications, there will most likely be other certifications you can go after. This could be driving lessons, a new skill within your own trade, or a qualification for a separate trade. 

Saying yes to every available opportunity will ensure you complete your apprenticeship with well-rounded knowledge, and the documentation to go with it.  

“We strive to make an apprenticeship unique within the group of companies. We have numerous trades and believe that an apprentice should spend time across all skill sets. By the end of an apprenticeship, each student should have a primary and secondary trade with the ability, if required, to touch on other skill sets to ensure the business can keep the teams dynamic. We believe in keeping the workforce engaged and constantly developing. Carrying out an apprenticeship within Hythe Group turns the students into invaluable members of the business and extremely employable to the industry if they choose to move on.”

Josh Mathias, Managing Director at Hythe Group.  

Wondering what an apprenticeship at Hythe Group is like? Check out this interview with one of Hythe Group’s very first apprentices: A Careers Starter: Hythe Marine Services Apprenticeship Scheme 


3. Positive Attitude and Self-Confidence

Stepping into an unfamiliar environment where you’re starting from scratch is daunting. 

As an apprentice, people aren’t expecting you to go into the job knowing exactly what to do. Many of the workers started as apprentices themselves, so they’re fully aware things can get confusing, and tiring, and apprentices will make mistakes. 

Remember that things can and will go wrong. What shows real determination is maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity. 

Being confident, polite and friendly to your colleagues shows that you’re there to learn and you’ll quickly become a crucial part of the team. 


4. Be Proactive About Your Mistakes

When something goes wrong, proactively resolve the issue and find out what caused it. 

Failing should be a positive experience, you need to make mistakes, learn rejection, learn from re-work and difficult situations. It’s not just about a skill; it’s about interaction, communication and behaviour. 

On your learning journey, it’s completely expected that you’ll make mistakes. Admitting when you’ve gone wrong and learning how to fix the problem for the next time is one of the best ways to learn. 

And if you’re not sure why the problem occurred, ask a senior employee the following questions:

  • What might have caused it
  • How to avoid it 
  • How to fix it

Problem Solution Graphic How To Make The Most Of Your Apprenticeship


Apprenticeship FAQs


How to Find an Apprenticeship?

  1. Apply directly with a company – Hythe Group has an internal application process
  2. Through your school or college
  3. Through UCAS: UCAS Apprenticeship Finder 
  4. Search through the government website: Find an apprenticeship with 

Can You Get an Apprenticeship With No Experience?

In most cases, no formal experience is required as apprentices will usually be coming straight from education. In England, apprenticeships use a Level system to determine the education requirements for a particular apprenticeship. Almost all apprenticeships will require GCSEs, and you may be required to have A-Levels or a full or partial degree for some higher-level apprenticeships. 


That’s a wrap on our tips for How to Make the Most of Your Apprenticeship

Interested in becoming a Hythe Group apprentice? Head to our Apprentice page here for more information: Hythe Group Apprenticeships 

A Year on With Hythe HOSMU Storage and Distribution Solutions

One year after Hythe HOSMU was formed, we take a look at the companies storage and distribution solutions projects, the challenges faced, and goals for the future. 

storage and distribution solutions by HOSMU at heathrow airport airside winter resilience

In their first year, Hythe HOSMU installed a modular self-help system at Heathrow Airport. This system allows for the distribution, deployment and return of equipment, coupled with the safe, measured and effective dispensing of de-icing media. We discuss the challenges and wins of this crucial winter resilience project at one of the world’s busiest airports.

But before we get into it, what exactly does Hythe HOSMU do?


An Introduction to Hythe HOSMU

Back in 2019, HOSMU was formed to support the mass production of bespoke modular units. These units enable the efficient storage, distribution and deployment of self-help tools, plus aircraft stand and roadway clearing equipment. 

HOSMU is part of the Hythe Group. What sets it apart from the other companies within the group is its capability to design, develop and install bespoke and tailored storage and distribution solutions specific to clients’ operational requirements. 

Specialising in Aviation and Rail projects, HOSMU compliments the group’s proven strength and experience in providing Marine and Building Services


Storage and Distribution Solutions for Heathrow’s Winter Resilience

Previous winters had seen the deterioration of the pre-existing winter resilience solution at Heathrow, coupled with inadequate storage for grit and de-icer. 

Hythe HOSMU provided Heathrow’s Winter Operations team with a one-stop location for important tools and necessary equipment. The project aided the safe and efficient turnaround of aircraft on stands, while keeping airside roads and pathways clear.

The innovative HOSMU self-help solution we manufactured provides the consolidated and organised storage of essential winter resilience tools and stand clearing equipment. De-icing products are now distributed safely and with precision.

“We’re delighted to report that following the recent snowy conditions our HOSMU custom made modular units have successfully improved operational effectiveness during a ‘snow event’ airside at Heathrow Airport.” – Neil Robinson 

storage and distribution solutions by HOSMU at heathrow airport airside winter resilience

What Did the Project Involve? 

Following a period of consultancy and development of the project brief, the HOSMU system installation provided an innovative four-part solution.

This included a consolidated single collection point for essential winter resilience operating equipment and the management of stand waste, combined with winter media storage and distribution. 

Forty-eight key airside locations were identified across the terminals, including aircraft stands, pathways, roadways and control posts. These key locations were provided with the requisite modular parts to provide winter resilience tool storage and effective, consolidated housing and distribution for snow and ice clearing media in use across the entire site.

Each custom made component features an RFID asset management and inspection system. The system regularly records inspections and reduces the need for maintenance and equipment replenishment commonly associated with winter operational use.

During an intensive period of prototyping and feedback, HOSMU presented Heathrow with nine client-driven revised prototypes. To ensure quality throughout the project, each step incorporated feedback gathered from presentation and review at airside events and consultations with the winter operations team.


What Was the Biggest Challenge HOSMU Faced and How Was it Overcome?

In addition to understanding, overcoming and changing behavioural and methodological operational airside practices in Winter, perhaps the biggest challenge faced by the HOSMU team was providing a solution to safely store and dispense the winter de-icing media commonly known as ‘Prill’.

Prill is a pelletised form of de-icing media formed by the congealing of a liquid and it provides a safe and effective way to rapidly de-ice and melt ice and snow. It robustly stays in place when deployed ahead of a ‘snow event.’ Prill is packaged in 25-kilogram bags which, once opened and left exposed to the elements or moisture, hardens and is wasted. Hundreds of kilos of prill were often squandered during winter due to bags being partially used or stored ineffectively in grit bins or left exposed to the elements. 

The key was to develop a modular unit capable of being able to receive an entire bag of prill at a safe lifting height and then dispense a specified amount determined by the user, depending on the surface to be treated.

Nine concept prototypes were developed by the HOSMU team offering a range of solutions. After a sustained period of testing the final ‘media Hopper’ design was approved by Airfield operations and following two winters has proven a success. It uses a unique mechanism to ensure the prill is dispensed in its pelletised form, even if it has solidified within the hopper, or has been added to the hopper in a solidified form. 


How Has the Installation Changed Life for the Winter Resilience Team?

“HOSMU’s custom solution has taken our outdated self-help tools and media storage and provided airfield operations with an innovative and robust concept ready to tackle the snow events we manage each winter, helping to keep the airport fully operational…” 

– Winter Operations Manager at Heathrow 

For the first time airside at any airport, all winter self-help equipment is in one easy to use modular system at key locations.

Winter operational efficiencies were vastly improved during the recent snow events at Heathrow. Notifiable asset management and inspection systems are in place with each component. As a result, the need for maintenance and equipment replenishment associated with winter operational use is reduced. 

The HOSMU now provides a clearly identifiable, branded focal point for the organisation and storage of the equipment and winter media. It also ensures operational equipment is returned, reducing the likelihood of trip hazards and lowering the need for tool replenishment. The units are also used as a mechanism to promote safety messages, like the ‘safety 6’, to the airside community.

storage and distribution solutions by HOSMU at heathrow airport airside winter resilience

What’s next for Hythe HOSMU?

HOSMU are ready to present their winter resilience solution to the wider airport community and other industries with a winter resilience requirement. 

The team have also been developing four additional components. These allow for totally consolidated equipment storage on stands and airside at airports. Including; bollard bin clamps, cone and trolley storage, sawdust storage for minor spills and a tiered approach to chock storage. 

HOSMU‘s storage and distribution solutions will give ramp users a one-stop location for all equipment associated with the safe and efficient turnaround of aircraft. It also provides stakeholders with the necessary self-help tools to carry out their roles.

The HOSMU modular concept can be tailored to any industrial operational requirement

Contact our team to discuss HOSMU’s storage and distribution solutions capabilities for your upcoming projects. 

Sarah Powell Joins Hythe Marine As Head of Sales

Meet the Newest Member of The Team

With twenty-five years of sales and account management experience, Sarah Powell has quickly become a key player in the growth of Hythe Marine Services (HMS). 

Sarah Powell Hythe Marine Services New Head of Sales

Her in-depth industry knowledge will lead HMS in new directions and further develop the existing client relationships that the company is built upon. We spoke to Sarah to get to know more about who she is, her career, and her goals for the new role.


Introducing Sarah Powell

Throughout her career, Sarah has held a range of roles including Strategic Director and Commercial Manager within a range of sales industries. 

These roles generally involved Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Services, covering exhibitions, finance, industrial and retail hygiene equipment and recycled aggregates. Her latest role now sees her joining the marine services industry as Head of Sales for Hythe Marine Services, part of the Hythe Group.

In her free time, Sarah loves nothing more than being out on the water. 

“I am a sailor and have spent most of my life afloat in anything from small dinghies to racing yachts. I fell in love with paddleboarding 4 years ago while on holiday in France and try to get afloat most weekends, even in the winter.” 

Sarah tells us she loves paddle boarding due to how much easier it is to get set up than a boat, and the fact her dog can (reluctantly) hitch a ride!

After moving down south five years ago from North Wales, Sarah loves to explore all the beautiful countryside and coastline the area has to offer. 

Sarah Powell Portsmouth New Head of Sales

Career Successes

When we asked Sarah about the proudest moment of her career so far, she told us “I am extremely proud of a lot of what I have achieved in my career – from winning business from major competitors, to becoming the preferred supplier for the largest players in the retail and grocery sectors.” 

She also spoke about the work she put into developing relationships over the years, and, as a result, the level of trust and respect those clients have in her. 

Sarah puts her success down to a focus on understanding her customers’ unique needs and challenges, in order to provide the right solutions. Sarah explained, “Success comes down to being dependable and trustworthy, and always doing what you said you were going to do. Never tell someone you can do something when you can’t.”

Using this foundation, Sarah has created relationships that evolve into partnerships. As opposed to the usual customer-supplier dynamic, this gives companies the ability to grow with their customers. 


What Will The New Head of Sales Be Doing?

In Sarah’s words, “From a really solid foundation under the leadership of Josh, I want to build a strong commercial structure with which to support his existing customers and develop new relationships across new markets including the construction and renewable energy sectors.”

To achieve this goal, Sarah will be managing the relationships within the existing customer base to ensure they receive the best support and services we can deliver on a day to day basis. There will also be a large focus put on developing new relationships and growing the commercial business. 

And as a crucial part of her role, Sarah will be working closely with the team at HMS. Sarah explained, “I’ll be liaising with the existing estimators, workshop teams and account managers to ensure a consistent approach and communication, all the while keeping the customer experience at the forefront of our minds.”


Sarah’s Goals and Vision for Head of Sales at HMS

Sarah has significant experience in creating and implementing a commercial structure from scratch. And although HMS is a little smaller than the large organisations Sarah has previously worked for, the process and deliverables are all scalable. Sarah told us, “The foundations and ethics are of the same importance whether you are a large bluechip company or an SME.” 

Sarah joked that the only difference at HMS is that there may be more ‘characters’ at HMS than anywhere she’s worked previously! 

Speaking on her vision for her role, she explained, “I want to create and embed a very strong commercial structure within HMS that ensures we provide the very best service and support for our customers now and for the future. Integrity, trust, resilience and reliability are key factors for us and our customers.”

As an agile, innovative and intelligent business, HMS has a lot to offer across a wide range of industries. Sarah is particularly passionate about the planet and the future of sustainable and renewable fuels.

HMS is ideally placed geographically, technically and operationally to be able to support these sectors on and offshore, and Sarah and the team see that as a large part of HMS’ future.

Get in touch with the team through our contact form, or connect with Sarah on LinkedIn directly to discuss your upcoming projects.

Hythe Marine Services’ First Apprentice on His Move to Hythe Building Services

Henry Barker was one of the first apprentices hired by Hythe Group’s original company, Hythe Marine Services. Alongside Rhys Smallman, Henry joined the team as an Apprentice Pipefitter and Welder in September 2012 just after finishing school. 

Hythe Marine Services’ First Apprentice on His Journey Through the Company

After completing his apprenticeship, Henry became full time with Hythe Marine Services, until his recent move to Hythe Building Services

We spoke to Henry to find out about his career, company changes and the importance of personal growth. 


Henry’s Career at Hythe Group 

Although Henry’s apprenticeship with Hythe Marine Services started in September 2012, this wasn’t the official beginning of his career. Henry explained,Luke Fitzgerald (Director of Value Engineering) used to bring me into the HMS workshop on Saturday mornings so I could gain experience. This opportunity led to an offer for an apprenticeship position once I finished school.”

Henry’s Pipefitters Apprenticeship lasted for four years. During the first year, Henry completed his Level 2 NVQ at PETA, an engineering college, before spending six months onsite with Hythe Marine Services. Over the final three years, while Henry was completing his Level 3 NVQ, a PETA assessor would visit monthly to determine his progress. 

Throughout this time, Henry was also working toward his Level 3 City and Guilds qualification at Southampton City College

Henry told us, “I completed my apprenticeship in the summer of 2016. Since then, I have worked on numerous projects for HMS. Most notably in Portsmouth dockyard but I’ve also worked at Southampton General Hospital, Whitman’s Laboratories and in Italy for two weeks working on a superyacht.”

In 2019, Henry moved from Hythe Marine Services to Hythe Building Services.  


Changing Sectors: From the Marine Industry to Building Services

Since his move in 2019, Henry has worked on various projects at different sites across the south coast, and in HBS’ fabrication workshop.

When asked why he decided to move companies, Henry said, “After working mostly in Portsmouth dockyard for seven years, I wanted to experience a new challenge and see what the outside world was about. Luckily for me, that opportunity was there for me at HBS, who were happy to take me on.”

Henry will be using the welding and pipefitting skills learned during his time with Hythe Marine Services, as they are still a fundamental part of his role. However, this career move also offers the opportunity to learn new skills.

“The thing I look forward to most about working with Hythe Building Services is the opportunity to be working at different places. Although some of our projects are fairly long, it’s nice to get out and about on the different sites. I enjoy seeing where all the pipework actually goes and how all the different systems are put together.”


Hythe Marine Services’ First Apprentice on His Journey Through the Company

Apprenticeships with Hythe Marine Services

Although the companies are separate entities, it’s important for them to have strong cross-sector relationships. When employees move across companies, it forms a new link between each team. These connections are crucial for the strength of Hythe Group as a whole. 

Similarly, the experienced generation passes down their knowledge and skill to the younger employees and apprentices. Without this, decades of expertise would be lost. 

Henry is a prime example of the value in educating young people in trades. Henry had the opportunity to go to college to learn his trade, whilst working on jobs alongside experienced workers. This involved a lot of hard work on Henry’s behalf to get to where he is today. However, he also recognises the role his fellow team members had in his success.

Henry told us, “I owe a lot of praise to my fellow workers at HMS who put in the time and effort to help me get to the stage I’m at. Hard work and a positive attitude are still needed, and I hope I set a good example to my fellow workers.”


If you’re interested in finding out more about apprenticeships with Hythe Marine Services, take a look at the following articles:


How has Hythe Marine Services Evolved over the years? 

We asked Henry whether the company has changed over his career. He told us, “HMS has evolved massively since I first joined the company. It was a relatively small company back when I first started, and over the years it’s grown a lot, with the open projects seemingly increasing every year. The company has welcomed many new faces since I’ve been there, and each one of them has helped to push the company in the direction it’s at today.”

Henry also mentioned that he believes Hythe Group is different from a lot of other companies because of the diverse amount of work the group of companies undertakes, and the endless opportunities available to people. He explained that there are always new things to be learned, and new experiences available somewhere within the company. 

Read more about the History of Hythe Group


Interested in working with the Hythe Group team or enquiring about our services? Get in touch today.