Pictured from left to right: Steven McInnes and Roddy Frew from James Frew Ltd ,Tommy Campbell and Paul Lynn from West College Scotland

James Frew Ltd believes its strength lies in its people and is committed to the training, health and safety of its employees. Over half of the total workforce consists of fully qualified gas engineers. Employees are often required to hold multiple certifications and therefore undertake extensive training and assessment of core and specialist qualifications, which must be refreshed every five years.

This has important cost implications and can lead to difficulties in workforce planning. However, having qualified staff is paramount for James Frew Ltd and non-compliance would threaten jobs and the security of the business.

The company approached us to support its efforts and develop a new innovative training planning process. Our collaboration, funded by a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher, focused on identifying the staff training requirements, linking these to business process improvement and bringing educational tools into the industry context to meet James Frew Ltd's specific needs.

The project included the monitoring of certification renewals, development of individual training plans and the measurement of the impact of training through AMI (Achievement Measurement Indexing).

Through reduced costs and improved quality of training, the new process will provide business efficiency savings ensuring that James Frew Ltd continues to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage in a fast moving commercial market.  By enabling a more structured approach to developing people through training, the project will also impact on the motivation of staff and employee satisfaction.

We will also benefit from this collaboration, by improving our training delivery in gas engineering. It will enable us to develop a greater understanding of training needs analysis for the building services sector and will make us even more responsive to business needs.

Read what the partners say:

"We are delighted to work with West College Scotland on the Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher, it has helped us align training plans and enhance our service offer." - Roddy Frew, Managing Director "The SFC Innovation Voucher has allowed James Frew Ltd and WCS to collaborate positively to implement business improvements and develop more meaningful relationships that are mutually beneficial. In doing so, our staff at the college have been able to use this knowledge to work with other organisations to help them improve and enhance the products and services that they offer." - Andrew Fogarty, Head of Energy and Engineering, West College Scotland “The Innovation Voucher Scheme has been a huge success, linking hundreds of Scottish small businesses with universities’ expertise. Entrepreneurs growing their businesses have been able to develop their products in ways they would have struggled to do by themselves and I’m excited that this expertise now includes Scotland’s colleges as well as universities.” - Dr Stuart Fancey, director of research and innovation at the Scottish Funding Council

This business-academic collaboration is funded by a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher and administered by Interface, a central hub connecting organisations from a wide variety of national and international industries to Scotland's 23 higher education and research institutes. To find out more, visit www.interface-online.org.uk

James Frew Ltd is one of the largest privately owned building services companies in Scotland providing integrated building services, including plumbing, heating, mechanical services, micro renewables, gas maintenance, and property upgrades for the public and private sectors, including design installation and maintenance. The company operates from their headquarters in Stevenson, Ayrshire, covering all areas of Scotland. To find out more, visit www.jamesfrew.co.uk

To see what the College can do for your business, contact us atcorporate@wcs.ac.uk