The Benefits of Local Joinery and Manufacturing in Fife

Joinery and manufacturing fife is an important sector of Fife’s economy. It supports a wide range of local businesses, both small and large. Sadly, this sector is set to lose up to 180 jobs as the owner of Fife Joinery Manufacturing (FJM) proposes shutting its Glenrothes plant and moving the distribution centre south. However, councillors and local businesses are working together to offer support to the workers affected.

Benefits of Local Suppliers

Keeping your manufacturing and distribution centres close to the source can lead to savings of more than just cash. It also translates into improved customer service, shorter delivery times and less hassle for the end user.

Local manufacturers also have a leg up on the competition when it comes to innovation, technology and a well oiled supply chain. They can also provide a range of benefits to their local communities through the right mix of public and private sector partnerships.

Whether it’s the latest in green manufacturing or a new state of the art production facility, a local supplier can help your company meet your business goals while supporting a local community that will be there for the long haul. It’s no wonder that a whopping 40% of Fife Council’s third party spend is attributed to local businesses.

Getting your mitts on this golden opportunity could save your company money and make a big splash in the process. The good news is that Fife Council has an active supplier development programme in place to assist and guide local suppliers through the quagmires of a tender process.

Benefits of Local Skills

Carpentry and joinery product makers are a significant industry in Fife, with the production of doors, windows, frames and structural carpentry products. The housing market boosts their sales as resilient housebuilding activity is driven by the need for affordable, modern accommodation for families.

CR Smith, one of the largest employers in Dunfermline and a long-term Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) partner, has invested in a bespoke apprenticeship scheme that offers a combination of Site Carpentry and Joinery and unique modules on customer service and teamwork. With 12 new apprentices joining the business, the firm is demonstrating its commitment to supporting local young people into meaningful careers.

In addition to providing the skilled workforce required for a vibrant and prosperous economy, apprenticeships also help address sector-specific skills gaps. They allow businesses to upskill existing employees, increasing their capacity to attract and retain new talent.

Colleges across Scotland play a critical role in helping local employers develop their workforce by providing training that helps them grow and succeed. Fife College delivers one of the largest Modern Apprenticeship contracts – on behalf of Skills Development Scotland – in the country, with around 500 MAs trained each year across more than 20 framework sectors.

The College’s apprenticeship programmes – both MA and FA – are designed to provide pupils with the opportunity to learn in a live business environment, gain an industry-recognised qualification set at the same level as a Higher, and receive on-the-job support and guidance from an expert mentor. The College also runs a number of Foundation Apprenticeships in partnership with Fife Council that are designed for high school pupils who wish to build on their knowledge and experience before starting work.

A strong partnership with Skills Development Scotland is a key driver behind this strategy. Pupils learn about their own strengths, qualities and abilities, and the opportunities they have to apply them to their chosen careers through personal and social education classes and a range of other activities.

Working with a wide range of local businesses and partners, Glenwood High School has developed a strong network that supports pupils to identify and pursue positive career destinations. From introductions to the DYW programme through to collaborations with Robertson Construction, Fife Fabrications and Pitreavie Group, the school has seen success in terms of young people’s engagement and outcomes for employers and the wider community.

Benefits of Local Employment

Local employment in Fife is a key factor in the overall economy of the region. With a skilled workforce, proximity and first-class business propositions, Fife offers an ideal location for companies looking to set up or expand their operations.

In the context of automation, digitalisation and the green transition, regional economies are challenged to create a skilled labour force to meet future demands while also maintaining competitive advantage in the global economy. A skilled workforce is a crucial marketing tool for local economies to attract investment and ensure the long-term stability of businesses.

There are many benefits to employing locally, including higher employment rates for local residents and reduced environmental impacts. For example, hiring local people leads to lower carbon emissions because they are able to walk, bike or take public transportation to work instead of driving. Additionally, when local workers purchase goods and services from other local businesses, those purchases fuel further growth in local economies.

The government also works to improve the skills of individuals by creating training programmes and opportunities to gain valuable experience through apprenticeships. As a result, there are more opportunities to access jobs and increase wages.

In addition to the government-led initiatives, other local strategies to improve employment in Fife include community wealth building (CWB) and Work Local. These strategies aim to provide employment and skills support at a local level and are designed to help individuals find and keep jobs.

A new CWB consultation has been launched by the Scottish Government to seek views on ground-breaking proposals that will help ensure more money stays in the hands of local communities. The Minister for Community Wealth Building, Tom Arthur, launched the consultation at the Red Lion Inn in Culross, a community-owned pub and key local employer which aims to reinvest its profits back into the community.

In the meantime, Fife Council is working to strengthen and enhance its relationship with local SMEs, ensuring that a significant proportion of third party spend is made with Fife-based companies. In particular, it is keen to engage with local SMEs in its procurement activity to build their skills and knowledge of the tendering process and promote fair work practices within the supply chain.

Benefits of Local Support

The benefits of local joinery and manufacturing in Fife are many. From the big daddys of the trade to smaller businesses that keep the Fife economy humming, local companies are the backbone to the plethora of new and retuning businesses springing up around the county. From a small business perspective, the most obvious way to maximise your return on investment is to partner with local businesses. Besides, it is always nice to know that your supplier is local and will be there for the long haul. Moreover, you will be able to find more information about the company, and make informed decisions when you need to.

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