Apprenticeships Work | Fife Fabrications’ dedication to investing in young people
Fife Fabrications (FiFab) proudly supports Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022 (7 – 11 March 2022), which aims to demonstrate the value apprenticeships bring to individuals, employers and the economy.
This year’s theme is ‘Apprenticeships Work’, with the aim to highlight how apprenticeships are providing the skills employers need now and for the future. Scottish Apprenticeship Week is a time to show that apprenticeships provide opportunities that work for everyone.
FiFab is one of the UK’s foremost precision sheet metal component sub-contractors and has a long history of supporting apprentices and employability initiatives to nurture the development of young talent in the region.
With strong links to Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Fife and a commitment to improving and developing Fife’s offering to young people through its business community, FiFab works closely with local schools to help develop a pipeline of talent in Fife.
Hannah Reid is one of the seven apprentices currently working at FiFab and will be joined by an additional three new apprentices this year.
Hannah is an Apprentice Production Engineer and started her career journey with a Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) whilst still at school. The FA involved spending three weeks working at FiFab to build on her skills and experience. Following successful completion of her FA, Hannah started working at FiFab as soon as she left school, initially joining the team in the Inspection Department, before starting her current apprenticeship.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and I knew early on that I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone, so taking on the apprenticeship at Fife Fabrications was the perfect fit for me.
“Technology subjects at school came really easy to me and because I enjoyed the classes too, it was quite an easy decision to pursue a career in engineering.”
When Hannah completes her apprenticeship, she will be the first female Production Engineer at FiFab and she sees herself having a long and happy career there.
“I’ve come so far since I started working here, not only have my skills and knowledge grown massively but so has my confidence. I used to be really shy but I’ve seen such a positive change in myself over the past couple of years.
“There are real career progression opportunities here, the team is so supportive and have helped me get to where I am today. I can’t wait to continue my career at FiFab once I’ve finished my apprenticeship.”
It’s not just current apprentices that love working at FiFab. Colin Paterson, who has been part of the team for 20 years, also started off his career as an apprentice.
Colin embarked on a Fabrication, Welding and NDT apprenticeship upon leaving school and worked at FiFab throughout. After completing his apprenticeship and achieving his SVQ level 3 and HNC, he worked on the shop floor for three years, predominantly working on punching lasers and brake presses.
It wasn’t long before Colin’s potential was noticed and he was given the opportunity to progress into a new role, working in the office doing Computerised Numerical Control (CNC) offline programming for punching lasers.
Championed by Managing Director, John Penman, Colin then made the move into a sales role. It was a natural progression for Colin as he already knew the processes and machinery inside out.
And for the last 12 years, that’s where Colin has stayed having recently been promoted to Sales Manager.
Colin is passionate about breaking down the barriers to starting a career in engineering and is proud of the work FiFab does with its links to local schools in helping to clear up the misconceptions around what working in engineering looks like.
“Most people think of engineering as a manual job where you’re always dirty and covered in oil but it couldn’t be further from that. There are so many options – just within Fife Fabrications we have a host of engineering roles from production and quality engineers to sales engineers, it’s so different from people’s preconceptions of the role.”