Robinsons – Paving the way for the next generation
Lockerbie based construction and manufacturing specialists Robinsons joined with DYW DG to host a tour of their factory and headquarters to educate the next generation about the careers available within the local area.
DYW Dumfries and Galloway were delighted to work with Robinsons in Lockerbie to develop ideas on how the business could reach out to its future workforce. After a number of talks, DYWDG and Robinsons welcomed the first group of school pupils from Moffat Academy to the Robinsons site in November 2018.
Robinsons understood the benefit of looking at new ways to engage and inform young people, while keeping in mind their own future workforce requirements and addressing the continuing skills shortage issue in their sector. Ryan Brown, Managing Director at Robinsons, said “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.”
The work ready programme involved a full site tour with the young people also taking part in a quiz. Both Chairman Jim Brown and Managing Director Ryan Brown introduced themselves and spoke to the pupils about how the company started, has grown and the future opportunities that will be available. The pupils then met with each of the departments within Robinsons including marketing, sales, FarmFit, production and workshop, transport teams and its sister company CWP. The morning also included a tour of the Lockerbie offices, workshops, and the factory and yard space.
Kirsten Candlish, Depute Head Teacher, Moffat Academy was instrumental in arranging the pupils. She told DYW DG, "Thank you very much for facilitating the visit to Robinsons. The feedback from our pupils was brilliant and they thoroughly enjoyed the visit. I believe some of them are also investigating career options relating to the opportunities highlighted by Robinsons, which is excellent.”
Pupils comments included, "This was awesome!", "Love the concrete wall panels!", and "I think I like this".
Robinsons staff spoke enthusiastically about their roles and the school pupils engaged well with the various sectors: one pupil even asked what age they need to be to start working with the team!
Emma Porteous, Marketing Manager at Robinsons, said “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."
Chairman Jim Brown explained: “Young people think they need to go to the big city for all their career progression opportunities, but 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 with DYW DG, 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.”
He continued, “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 at DYW, said, “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.”
DYW DG plan to work with Robinsons 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.
DYW DG and Robinsons: Work ready site visit