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CR Smith employees Graham Smith and Derry

National Apprenticeship Week – giving a helping hand to young people


It’s National Apprenticeship Week and at CR Smith we firmly believe that young people are not only the lifeblood of the economy, but they are key to the future survival and continuing success of a business.

In 2015 we set up our own bespoke apprenticeship programme which is tied to a City & Guilds framework. Training is delivered by our own staff and Fife College at our purpose-built training centre in Dunfermline. By opting for this route rather than a traditional block release programme, our apprentices are fully equipped with the right skills they need to work for us once their three-year apprenticeship finishes.

But we don’t just stop at apprenticeships. Hand-Picked was set up six years ago by our Chairman, Gerard Eadie CBE, with its aim to get more young people into work in Scotland. Hand-Picked works with unemployed 16-24-year-olds, giving them a real insight into what employer expectations are in the workplace and connects them to suitable paid jobs.

It’s a straight-talking, no-nonsense programme and is delivered by employers. It is effective and gives young people the chance to look for and gain employment, as well as develop the required skills that will see them through their working lives.

It’s backed by a network of employers throughout Scotland who provide the young people with a paid three-month job, a reference and support to find their next role.

Sometimes, young people have lost their way in life, haven’t got the exam results they needed, or simply just do not know what they need to do in order to secure a job.

It’s not their fault, but if employers can come together and lend a helping hand, we can get them on the path to a brighter future.