April saw four Fife teenagers begin work at the company’s Glenrothes headquarters after successfully completing six months of study at Carnegie College. And if everything goes to plan, in three years time the group will be fully qualified manufacturing and product engineers, helping to develop the latest state-of-the-art products for Brand-Rex.
The foursome is made up of Kris Dickson, 19, from Rosyth, and 18-year-olds Christopher McCarte, from North Queensferry, Neil Methven from Leven and Joshua Wilson from Glenrothes. All four are working towards a Modern Apprenticeship leading to an SVQ level 3, as well as an HNC in Mechanical Engineering.
Ian Smith, Brand-Rex’s technical resource and programme manager, explains: “I think it’s important that we do all we can to revive the whole idea of apprenticeships and make them integral to Brand-Rex again.
“We’re now developing our next generation of engineers, people who will bring new life and new ideas into the company. But we’re also doing our bit for the local community, by investing in and developing the region’s young people.”
Apprentice Kris Dickson says: “It’s a great programme because we get to learn all the technical skills we need but at the same time we gain real-life work experience. That means we can all get used to what’s expected of us as we progress in our career, and there won’t be any nasty shocks when we’ve finished the course!”
The apprenticeships are also designed to help students develop into responsible adults with an awareness of citizenship.
And Ian adds: “Once they’ve qualified a challenging career awaits them within a company that is growing fast. There are many different careers paths they could follow in Brand-Rex, from production engineering and testing to product development and even technical sales. Many of the company’s senior management started work as an apprentice and all believe that this experience provided the best foundation for the roles they play today.”