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30 year first for Fife firm

Neale Young of reciprocating pump and packaging manufacturers DDL Ltd. has become Fife ’s first apprentice patternmaker to complete his time in over 30 years. The company, part of the Forth Tool and Valve Group located in Glenrothes, is justifiably proud of Neale’s achievement.

Patternmakers have been going through apprenticeships since the industrial revolution and in Scotland ’s manufacturing heyday hundreds of apprentice patternmakers were taken on every year. Over the last few decades the numbers have dropped mirroring the decline of Scotland ’s engineering industry. In order to be able to maintain the company’s high manufacturing standards into the future they decided to set up an apprenticeship scheme in conjunction with Lauder College .

Company chairman Campbell MacPherson told us “When the company’s efforts to employ a pattern maker proved fruitless after placing adverts across the UK , we decided to set up an apprenticeship in-house. The engineering industry has decreased to such an extent that there is only one other such apprenticeship scheme in Scotland .

Neale has shown commitment and drive throughout his apprenticeship and this was also reflected in his college work which was recognised in 2000 when he won the EMTA Student of the Year prize from Lauder College for his commitment and achievement.

Our apprenticeship scheme forms an integral part of the FTV ethos and has been in existence since the company was formed over 30 years ago. Currently we have 10 apprentices at varying stages of their time, having most recently had an intake of 3 boys last summer. I feel very strongly that we have to take ownership of the solutions to our own skill needs and that is what makes the FTV apprenticeship scheme so vitally important for the future of company.”