MSP Visits CR Smith To See The Future Of Home Improvements

Image Above: (From left to right): Shane David, James David Graduates of CR Smith Apprenticeship Programme, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Ian Macfarlane Managing Director of CR Smith and Nadia Brandi accountancy apprentice at CR Smith

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, visited the CR Smith Dunfermline Headquarters on Friday 8 March, to learn more about its bespoke Apprenticeship Programme and plans for the future.

She visited head office and toured the workshop, meeting CR Smith apprentices in the purpose built training facility.

Following the tour, Ms Somerville had the opportunity to discuss the benefits of apprenticeships with two former joinery apprentices and a current accountancy apprentice.  She also heard first hand why the programmes are influential to an organisation’s sustainable future from CR Smith MD Ian Macfarlane.

Having recently celebrated four years in operation, the bespoke joinery CR Smith Apprenticeship Programme is tailored to specifically to meet the skills required by the home improvements firm and works in collaboration with Fife College. The scheme is on its second intake of apprentices and represents an investment of more than £100,000 by the firm in its future workforce.

The programme was launched in 2015 and is aligned to City & Guilds accreditation. The first intake of eleven apprentices completed their apprenticeship and are now working as joiners with CR Smith.

Ian Macfarlane, managing director of CR Smith said:

“It’s great to showcase the success of our Apprenticeship Programme and young talent to Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP. Investment in our people is essential and creating our own customised apprenticeship programme, as well as addressing a potential skill shortage, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to grow the business through young people.”

Shirley-Anne Somerville, MSP commented:

“I was delighted to meet with local apprentices, and learn about their experience of working at CR Smith.

“It’s great to see a Dunfermline employer working closely with Fife College to create new skill bases in the local economy.

“Modern apprenticeships are an excellent way for people to earn and learn on the job, as well as an important opportunity for employers to invest in their workforce.

“That’s why the Scottish Government is expanding the number of Modern Apprenticeship places available to 29,000 next year, to help to build skills for the future.”

For more information on CR Smith and its charity initiates, please visit