Havelock secures schools deal as it launches ‘ambitious’ training plan

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HAVELOCK Europa yesterday called for 20 jobseekers to join its academy for prospective apprentices as it announced a £1.1 million deal to fit out a new school in Yorkshire.

ESA McIntosh, the Fife-based group’s education specialist, won a contract to provide furniture and equipment for the Dixons Allerton Academy near Bradford. Another division, Stage Systems, will supply sound and lighting equipment for its drama and music areas.

The Dalgety Bay-headquartered firm also announced the setting up of the Havelock Academy. The project, backed by Fife Council, will offer 20 school leavers the chance of six months paid training, which will lead to the recruitment of 12 full apprenticeships, lasting for three or four years.

Chief executive Eric Prescott said: “This is an ambitious project and one about which I am personally passionate. We will provide up to 20 academy places, leading to 12 apprenticeships in Fife, covering many aspects of what we do in the factory and in the office. We will offer the training, guidance and support needed to develop valuable skills, earn sought-after qualifications and ensure individuals can establish themselves within the industry.

“This programme is in addition to the 17 recent new appointments at our factory in Kirkcaldy,” he added.

The company said its 2013 order book was “encouraging” despite the woes affecting retailers – a major client group for Havelock. In a trading update, it confirmed that it had made a “significant” reduction in net debt due to cost control and sales of “non-core” divisions last year. Shares rise slightly to 16.75p.