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Paving the way for the next generation in the manufacturing and construction industry.

Nov 2, 2018

This week Robinsons welcomed the first group of school pupils from Moffat Academy as part of the Developing the Young Workforce Initiative.

Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) is the Scottish Government’s national strategy for strengthening links between businesses and education and better preparing children and young people for the world of work. The headline aim of the programme is to encourage and support more employers to engage directly with schools and colleges, and encourage and enable more employers to recruit more young people and promote diversity in their workforce.

Despite the strong progress that has been achieved, there have been many hurdles to overcome primarily with the continuing skills shortage issue that is affecting so many industrial sectors. Ryan Brown, Managing Director stated “The lack of available skills within the marketplace is causing something of a headache currently, which makes it all the more important that we look after and retain our existing staff. We are looking to play a key role in addressing the issue by working with DYW and inviting young people from local schools to tours of our factory to strike a passion at a young age for the industry.”

At the start of the morning, both Chairman Jim Brown and Managing Director Ryan Brown spoke to the pupils about how the company started, has grown and the future opportunities that will be available. The group then met with each of department within Robinsons including marketing, sales, FarmFit, production and workshop, transport teams and our sister company CWP.   The morning included a tour of the Lockerbie offices, workshops, factory and yard space.

Staff enthusiastically spoke about their roles and the school pupils engaged well with the various sectors. One even asked what age they need to be to start working with the team!

“The feedback from the pupils was fantastic and we were over the moon with how our first site visit went  - it was so exciting to hear how enthusiastic the young people were about a future career with the industry and how our different team members had inspired them to look at certain roles that they hadn’t necessarily thought about before!” Emma Porteous, Marketing Manager.

Chairman Jim Brown explained: “Young people think they need to go to the big city for all their career progression opportunities, but by letting them know they can stay here and have a fulfilling career on their doorstep is important to us.   We enjoyed hosting our first group of pupils today.”

Andrew Robb, Design Team Manager who has spearheaded this project stated “There is so much investment required in people coming into the industry in terms of training, passing on our knowledge and giving them the opportunities to become the construction/manufacturing industry leaders of the future. All these things are available at Robinsons, which I’ve been very impressed to see in the past 12 months.”

“We feel that it is important to give back and explain the different roles that are available in construction and manufacturing, the benefits, and also to ensure that we can use our passion for the industry to engage young minds and help them start their careers. The construction and manufacturing industry definitely has potential; it has good jobs and good rewards. It’s maybe just needing to get out there a bit more to engage with young people, which is what we are trying achieve here.”

Justin Thomas, Programme Manager from DYW Dumfries stated, “This was a fantastic opportunity from Robinsons and highlights brilliantly what DYW DG is all about – adding value to what is already available to our regions young people and helping to inform them of businesses, sectors, opportunities and career pathways thorough actually interacting with the workforce in the working environment!   We are very proud to be working with the team from Robinsons and their group of companies and this first work ready project was fantastic and a real example of what we can all do by just thinking and doing things a bit differently!  We can’t wait to introduce more schools and young people to this business!”

An informative and educational event, Robinsons is looking to replicate with other schools throughout the region to boost the skills offering in the local area and ensure that our regions industries have an enthusiastic workforce that will be able to drive forward the industry and ensure that it is able to thrive in the future.

Paving the way for the next generation in the manufacturing and construction industry.