CR SMITH and Fife College have joined forces to create a new training scheme for would-be joiners.

The fast-track programme is open to anyone aged 19 and over and has been designed to help address the growing demand for trade skills.

It starts in September and successful applicants will be supported through a 10-months course in carpentry and joinery, with three days at college supplemented by work experience at CR Smith, the home improvements company which has its HQ in Dunfermline.

Ian Macfarlane, managing director of CR Smith, said: “We want to see more people take up joinery jobs and this new Trainee Joiner Programme is one way that we can achieve that.

“It offers would-be joiners the chance to learn the skills while building their knowledge and understanding of how those skills can be applied in a ‘real’ working environment.

“Our commitment is to provide relevant work experience as well as an interview and skills test for all those who successfully complete the course.

"Most importantly, it could also lead to an opportunity to commence an adult apprenticeship.”

He continued: “We are delighted to have extended our partnership with Fife College in this way.

"At a time when there is a growing need to fill trade jobs and develop key trade skills, the collaborative spirit with which the college approaches vocational training is very innovative and to be applauded.”

Upon the successful completion of an SCQF Level 5 qualification and with extensive practical knowledge under their belts, the trainees will be guaranteed an interview with CR Smith and have the opportunity to apply for a place on their adult apprenticeship programme.

The new programme is the latest collaboration between CR Smith and Fife College.

The two organisations already work together to deliver a bespoke accredited joinery apprenticeship programme for 16-19-year-olds, which builds in softer skills, including customer service and teamwork, as well as product specific expertise.

Jan Thomson, director of business development at Fife College, said: “Working with CR Smith, we are creating a new path for those wanting to take up a career as a joiner, learning both the technical knowledge and the skills they will need to enter the workplace.

“This programme could provide a huge boost to anyone looking to enter the joinery profession, providing them with thorough and accelerated training.

“We’ve had a great partnership with CR Smith over the past years and in that time we’ve provided a huge number of individuals the skills they need to start a career in the industry.

“This new programme will continue that good work, and we look forward to providing many more opportunities for individuals across Fife for many years to come.”

Applicants should send a CV and cover letter to