Scottish Engineering chief executive officer, Bryan Buchan, paid a visit to Glenrothes manufacturing company, Fife Fabrications Ltd (FiFab) to launch an Engineering Academy. Based in Glenrothes, FiFab is one of the most advanced manufacturers of Precision Sheet Metalwork, Electro-mechanical assemblies and Precision Machined Components in the UK.
Opportunities Fife has worked closely with a number of Fife Engineering Employers to form the Fife Engineering Consortium. These employers include Fife Fabrication Ltd, Narvida Ltd, Score (Europe) Ltd, Brand-Rex Ltd, Plastech Group, FACTS Precision Ltd, FTV Proclad and more recently Grays Fabrications Ltd and Bridgeforth Engineering Ltd.
All of these Employers have faced similar problems of not being able to acquire suitable young people to fill their vacancies and approached Opportunities Fife to develop a model programme that meets the requirements of employers and creates life long career opportunities for young people in Fife. Twenty five apprenticeship opportunities were identified within this Sector.
Fife Fabrication Ltd and Narvida were the first to begin this process by recently holding an initial two day pre-recruitment course.
Bryan Buchan said: “FiFab and the rest of the Consortium should be proud of their commitment to growing the skills needed for the Engineering sector by developing this Engineering Academy. Right now, there is a serious Engineering skills shortage from the Central Belt to the North of Scotland. The average age of qualified engineers is mid-50s so it is crucial that we encourage more young people into Science and Technology to address the skills shortfall.
“These young trainees are in a great position to secure good future careers as jobs in this sector are vibrant from CNC setter/operators, to welders and platers to top end design engineers. As the sector is being driven by the oil and gas industry requirements, employers are paying more to retain good staff. This should encourage any young trainee to do well.”
He added: “I wish FiFab and its participating companies all the best in this new venture and Scottish Engineering will support them as much as they need.”
Councillor Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s executive member for Business, Enterprise, Economy & Planning commented: “The Fife Youth Job Contract is investing £5 million in Apprenticeships over the next three years to give unemployed young people between 16 and 24 access to training and employment and is being delivered through the Opportunities Fife partnership. The consortium of companies involved in this new Engineering academy should be commended. We look forward to working in partnership with them to develop opportunities so that they can achieve their goal and that we can get as many young unemployed people into the workplace. It’s vital for the Fife economy that these key skills are developed and in place to meet the needs of this fast growing and dynamic sector. There is a huge demand for these skills and successful trainees who go on to undertake full apprenticeships will have a bright future ahead.”
John Penman, FiFab’s Sales and Marketing director said: “FiFab has been in business for over 40 years and we have seen the importance of bringing young people into the industry. The consortium of companies involved in this programme can bring together shared knowledge and experience to ensure that the right training and skills are implemented to meet the needs of the Engineering sector.”