Fife home improvements firm CR Smith is working with Bell Baxter High School in Cupar to create an employability hub.
The hub will provide careers education in collaboration with the school’s teaching staff and its Developing the Young Workforce co-ordinator.
A member of the team from Hand Picked will be available to senior pupils one day a week.
They will offer one-to-one guidance on CVs, job applications and interview skills.
The Bell Baxter employability hub follows the successful model established at Lochgelly High School, where the scheme has been an active careers partner with the school for the past four years.
CR Smith chairman, Gerard Eadie established Hand Picked in 2011. A team at CR Smith run it as a charitable programme.
He said: “Setting up an employability hub within schools, such as Bell Baxter and Lochgelly High, is a hugely positive step towards breaking down barriers between the classroom and the workplace.
“It is a challenging time for any young person entering the jobs market and Hand Picked is there to support them on that journey.”
CR Smith returns to profit
Accounts lodged by CR Smith Manufacturing, the commercial arm of Dunfermline-based CR Smith, show a bounce back to profitability.
It makes the windows, doors and conservatories for CR Smith’s domestic business, housing developers and trade operators.
For the year ending August 31 2021, it recorded a turnover of £7.7m, with a pre-tax profit of £282,828.
Last year’s turnover reached £5.8m, while the firm recorded a pre-tax loss of £259,227.
The figures follow those of CR Smith Glaziers, the domestic sales and installation business, which showed turnover at £23.5m and a profit after tax of £88k for the 16-month period to December 31 2020.
The net asset position of the company at August 31 2021 was £651,913, a slight enhancement on the position in 2019 of £642,339.
Recruitment campaign in place
Director George Eadie said: “Having had to close the factory in 2020 due to the pandemic, and then again in early 2021, the return to profitability shows the underlying resilience of the company and our ability to react quickly to the opportunities that do exist.
“Once the first lockdown was implemented, we worked closely with our suppliers and customers to make sure we anticipated and dealt with any foreseen challenges.
“That meant we were prepared to restart operations efficiently and effectively once restrictions were lifted.
“Market demand remains higher than immediately before the first lockdown.
“With a significant order book we are confident that we will build on the current position.
“Staff numbers dropped slightly due to the two periods of closure.
“But with a new recruitment campaign in place across the whole range of skills required within the manufacturing business, we will rapidly return to pre-COVID levels and above.”
CR Smith employs around 350 staff in manufacturing, installation, sales and customer service roles.
Gerard Eadie purchased the company as a 22-year-old and has led the company for the last 46 years. He now holds the post of executive chairman.
The CR Smith name has been around for 100 years.