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Manufacturing Talent: How Fife Fabrications invests in Fife’s young people

Fife-based precision sheet metal work manufacturer, Fife Fabrications (Fifab), has been investing in the development of young talent since it first began operating in 1972.

Based in Glenrothes, for 50 years Fife Fabrications has been one of the most advanced manufacturers of precision sheet metalwork, electromechanical assemblies, and precision machined components in the UK, offering a complete service from design for manufacture support to manufacturing and full customer delivery.

With strong links to Developing the Young Workforce in Fife and a commitment to improving and developing Fife’s offering to young people through its business community, Fife Fabrications has a long history of supporting apprentices and employability initiatives to nurture the development of young talent in the region. Its most recent apprenticeship programme for 2021 launched in April and its regular investment in talent and technology offers countless development opportunities for its staff and trainees, alongside the offering to customers.

The business has its roots firmly in the local community and has always invested in developing the next generation of local talent. As such, Fife Fabrications has many talented young people on its team. Apprentice Production Engineer, Hannah Reid, and Apprentice Maintenance Engineer Rory Irvine both recently featured in a business insights film from Developing the Young Workforce (Fife), sharing their experiences of working and learning at Fife Fabrications. In October this year, the team welcomed two new apprentices, Aaron Greentree as Apprentice Production Engineer, and Cameron Bell, who joined as Apprentice Maintenance Engineer.

Fife Fabrications has many former apprentices being taken on in full time roles after their apprenticeship ends and then progressing through the business. One such employee is Colin Paterson, who started as an apprentice in 2002 and has developed his expertise over many years to reach his current role, as Sales Engineering Team Leader.

Colin said,

“As a new apprentice, I remember that coming from school into a working environment was quite daunting, but Fife Fabrications has been a great environment and way to experience the world of work from the very beginning. During my apprenticeship, I was mentored through different sections of the business, learning each aspect of the manufacturing process of our products in detail. We found where I was best placed within the business and then I worked to enhance my knowledge and expertise on the machinery in my area. After a few years, I started practicing offline programming of the punch and laser machines that I had learned a detailed working knowledge of, before moving into the sales department to apply the ten years of experience I had gained. This allowed me to develop my skills even further and to implement the skills and capabilities I had built up in a brand-new way. Working closely with our Managing Director, John, and attending training courses along the way, I’ve worked up to the role I have now. It’s been a brilliant experience for me from start to finish.”

Like most businesses, having recently undergone a challenging period during the Covid-19 pandemic, the team at Fife Fabrications responded swiftly to ensure a strong business recovery plan with a range of security and safety measures. This has included the introduction of shift work, home working and factory process modifications to ensure the business was able to both service its customers and safeguard its staff, whilst safeguarding a positive position from which the business can flourish and succeed into the future.

Fife Fabrications’ Managing Director, John Penman, is proud to invest in the development of young people and support the next generation of Fife’s workforce.

John explained,

“Fife Fabrications has always been focused on continual investment in lean technology, people and ordering processes, which means we can provide the lowest possible overall cost to customers. Our continued investment in our business, and in young people, allows for many learning opportunities for staff, trainees and apprentices, offering clear benefits across the whole team, as well as creating value for our customers. Our aim is to further build our capabilities, expertise and continue to provide customer service that is a cut above, as well as further supporting the up-skilling of young people in Fife. This helps to address the skills gap across our industry and in Fife more generally, as well as creating a pipeline of young talent for the growth of our business.”

To find out more about how Fife Fabrications works with young people and invests in young talent, watch our DYW Business Insights Film.

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