CR Smith takes 11 apprentices onto its bespoke programme

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Eleven aspiring joiners will this month take up their places on the bespoke CR Smith apprenticeship scheme that has been carefully developed by CR Smith and Fife College to meet the skills required by the home improvement business.

Unlike traditional apprenticeships, these apprentice joiners attend classes in the evenings, which are delivered by Fife College. This gives them more quality time on the job, learning from experienced tradespeople and gaining the skills they need to become an integral part of the workforce.

The unique CR Smith apprenticeship programme, which is aligned to City & Guilds accreditation, represents an investment of more than £100,000 over the past three years by the firm. A workshop has been specifically built for the apprentices and has all the facilities required to carry out the training modules, which are tailored to meet the needs of the company.

Ian Macfarlane, Managing Director at CR Smith, has been the driving force behind the apprenticeship programme.  He said: “Investment in our people is essential and creating our own customised apprenticeship programme, as well as addressing a potential skill shortage, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to grow the business through young people.

Ian also praised the flexibility that Fife College had in supporting and developing the course.  He commented: “We have forged an excellent partnership with Fife College, in particular Frazer Walker, Carpentry and Joinery Tutor, who is fantastically dedicated and a great inspiration to our apprentices.”

Jan Thomson, Director of Business Development at Fife College, agrees that the CR Smith apprenticeship programme represents a hugely successful partnership.   She said: “It has been extremely rewarding working with CR Smith to create their bespoke apprenticeship programme and as a college we welcome the opportunity to work with local businesses in this way.

James and Shane David (22 & 23yrs) have successfully completed the CR Smith apprenticeship and the two brothers from Dunfermline, now fully qualified, are working together as a squad.

According to the pair, it required a lot of commitment, but was “definitely worth it in the end”.

James added, “Frazer, the tutor from Fife College, spent a lot of time teaching us new techniques and refining our skillsets and it was good to do more than just window installations. We hung doors, built roofs, fitted kitchens and spent a lot of time on internal finishes.”

Ian Macfarlane is full of praise for James and Shane. He added:   “The manner in which both James and Shane approached the 3 year apprenticeship is a credit to them and it is fantastic to see their development. They and the other apprentice graduates should be immensely proud of what they achieved; they’ve set a brilliant example to our next class of apprentices.”