Home Grown Talent Is Future For Engineering Firm

Posted on December 08, 2011

A shortage in the availability of skills within the current and upcoming workforce has been well documented for a couple of years.

In an attempt to fill the deficit, and attract and retain skilled workers, many organisations have introduced a range of training programmes with a resurgence of apprenticeship schemes.

Ellon–based engineering specialist LFH Engineering is just one example of organisations that are channelling energy into 'home grown' talent. Since forming in 2010, the firm has put at its heart a tailored apprenticeship programme with a number of employees currently serving their time.

19-year old Chris Fraser of Peterhead is nearing the end of his apprenticeship, having been an apprentice since leaving school at 16. He is also in the final stages of his HNC in Mechanical Engineering, which he is studying at Banff and Buchan College.

"I left school after fourth year and was given the chance to take up an apprenticeship with Terex Powertrain. Two years into my apprenticeship the firm closed down. This was a very worrying time for me as I was halfway through the scheme. When the managing director Les Hill formed LFH Engineering and offered me the chance to continue serving my time with the new company I was delighted."

Splitting his time between the classroom and hands-on training in the workplace, Chris beliefs he is benefiting from the best of both worlds.

"Knowing the theory and being able to go back and directly apply it in a practical situation is hugely satisfying. It's allowed me to look at situations and find better or different ways to do something using problem solving methods to overcome real obstacles.

"If a scenario arises in the workshop, I have the confidence to find a solution. My apprenticeship has been a real learning curve and I have enjoyed so many aspects of it; from learning how to programme and operate machinery to the assembly & testing of diesel engine cooling pumps "I feel very grateful to LFH for investing in my future and the experience has made me consider further progress up the ladder such as working towards becoming a supervisor or even management.

"When I left school at 16, I didn't appreciate how many doors an apprenticeship would open for me. I would recommend anyone to grab the opportunity to learn the job on the job. If you are willing to learn then there's no limit to where it can take you"

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