AS part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week (19-23 May) Rearo, a leading manufacturer and supplier of solid and laminated materials, announces it has created five new Modern Apprenticeship places within its Scottish organisation as the result of a partnership with learndirect.
The firm has recruited three young apprentices, Rhys Todd, Scott Adams and Andrew McGill to work in warehousing and retail departments at the company’s head office in Govan.
They join Callum Crossan who is a sales/warehouse apprentice at Rearo’s outlet in Rosyth and Liam Rhys Martin, who is training in the warehouse at the Inverness branch.
Each of the apprentices has come straight from school or higher college education.
Rhys Todd, one of the apprentices in Glasgow left school from sixth year in 2012 and has previously taken on some work experience while at school.
Commenting on his placement with Rearo, he notes: “I’ve been really enjoying my time with Rearo, there’s a lot of opportunity to get stuck in and try different things.
“I’ve been working on the beam saw, used for cutting the panels and other material, and spent some time on the edge-bander also. I’m keen to get on, so I’m learning as much as I can here.”
In addition, the company has committed to offering ‘on the job’ training to its entire 80 strong workforce to enable them to update and in some cases, improve upon their existing skills.
Always an entrepreneurial company, Rearo was originally founded in the 1970s by James Mercer as a gas business in Shetland; however, he quickly recognised the population size (27,000) would severely limit opportunities for growth.
In the early 80s, when the Government started selling off the council house stocks, the firm identified that people would want to spend money on a home that they actually owned for the first time.
They opened a kitchen and bathroom studio and from there swiftly moved into manufacturing, to take fuller control.
Today, Rearo is led by James’ son Graham and in recent times, the company has shifted its emphasis from larger construction projects to smaller domestic jobs and individual tradesmen to increase margin and reduce potential bad debt exposure.
The recent development of their own brand ranges – including Selkie, Surfstone and VERSA-tile – are a by-product of that strategy and are widely admired and used in both the domestic and commercial markets.
Rearo is headquartered in Glasgow and operates a network of trade counters, open to both trade and the public at locations in Inverness, Rosyth, Lerwick, Gateshead and Newport.
Commenting on the decision to work in partnership with learndirect, Graham Mercer, MD of Rearo. says: “Now that the worst of the recession appears to be behind us, we believe that over the course of the next five years, there is a great opportunity for us to grow our business significantly.
“However, in order to do so and from experience we recognise that it is important to introduce new talent and skills.
“We are delighted that through learndirect, we are able to give local young people an opportunity to join a thriving business and also play our part in addressing the very real issue of youth unemployment.
“Similarly, the opportunity which is being afforded to our existing workforce to improve upon their current skillset will also reap benefits for the business as it moves forward.”
Jim Murphy is learndirect’s operations director in Scotland. He said: “It’s really fantastic to see that we are helping Rearo to develop its workforce through new Apprenticeship placements and the up-skilling of its current workforce.
“learndirect is one of the largest providers in Scotland and every year we touch the lives of thousands of people across the country, helping them to realise their potential and the new recruits at Rearo are no exception.”
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