Minister praise for youth jobs focus at CMS
CMS Window Systems has received praise from the Scottish Government for its forward-thinking employment initiatives by minister for employability and training Jamie Hepburn MSP.
After visiting its headquarters Cumbernauld, the minister described the business as a “fantastic example of a Scottish company employing young people”.
Mr Hepburn saw first-hand the impact of apprenticeships and youth employment schemes on the local workforce. The Scottish Government’s youth employment strategy aims to reduce youth unemployment by 40 per cent by 2021 through the widespread introduction of apprenticeships and other kinds of vocational training, a framework which CMS has actively championed since the business was established in 2006.
His visit to CMS coincided with the publication of the ONS’s newest Scottish employment statistics, which show that Scotland continues to outperform the rest of the UK in youth employment and unemployment rates.
Hepburn’s visit began with an introduction to four of the business’s current apprentices, who then took him on a tour of CMS’s manufacturing and recycling facilities as well as discussing the business’s priorities and the issues currently faced by those in vocational training.
The tour started off in CMS’s flagship Innovation Hub, where Andrew McGhee, CMS marketing assistant who is also undertaking an apprenticeship in digital skills, talked the minister through the company’s ‘closing the loop’ ethos and the focus on sustainability and waste elimination in every element of the business.
The recycling centre was the next destination with Calum Davies, CMS stores trainee, who is undergoing an apprenticeship in warehousing, demonstrating how to deconstruct a window before Mr Hepburn tried the process out for himself.
Next Patrick McEvoy, who has recently completed his level 2 SVQ in fabrication, gave a fascinating insight into the operation of the computer controlled cutting machine in the aluminium factory. Sarah Barrie, who has completed her level 2 SVQ in business & administration and is embarking on level 3, concluded the tour by explaining to Mr Hepburn about her job role in the commercial department within the organisation.
Mr Hepburn was highly impressed with CMS’s contribution to the local and national employment figures and its dedication to encouraging personal and professional development, saying: “Modern Apprentices make a real contribution to the Scottish economy, offering our young people improved career prospects while having a positive impact on the businesses and industry, bringing value to both employers and the economy. I was delighted to meet some of CMS Window Systems latest recruits as they embark on the start of their careers.”
To date, CMS has given around 100 young workers the opportunity to build their career through apprenticeships, and has been awarded the prestigious Investors in People Gold Standard in addition to being an Investors in Young People accredited company.
CMS’s managing director, Andy Kerr, said: “It was our great pleasure to host Jamie Hepburn on his visit to our headquarters, and even more of an honour for CMS to be held as a great example of successful investment in staff development. As a business, we have always placed great importance on providing opportunities and training for our employees and people in our community.
“We recognise that investing in people at all levels is vital to improving leadership, management and employee performance, and it has really paid off for us: our development programme has influenced all kinds of positive operational and behavioural changes, which have made an impact on the business, its employees, partnering organisations and customer base.”