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Written by Guest Blogger

Living abroad can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to study and even work in a place totally different to where you came from. My name is Leonardo Fantinati, I am Brazilian and I took the challenge to live and study on my own at Dundee. The results of my experience were quite exciting!

 

I started my study program at DJCAD (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design) on September 2013 under the ‘Science without Borders Programme’ scheme. As a Product Design Student I got involved with projects and subjects exploring multidisciplinary fields of study and solving numerous problems by the use of appropriate research techniques.

 

My interest into new methodologies and innovative materials to work with led me to attend a specific module, ‘Textiles Futures’ aiming to give students opportunities to understand and have contact with the field of technical textiles.

 

The project briefing, in partnership with Scott & Fyfe, tasked us to consider how some of the their existing textiles could be re-appropriated, developing innovative contexts of use and researching new areas of application in terms of market viability.

 

Focusing on the ‘wearable industry’ and providing the user with good ergonomics and comfort during hours of use, the product concept was to provide a low-cost utility shoe formed with a two-piece die cut pattern dispensing conventional construction models such as sewing, being easily foldable and constructed around the user’s foot.

 

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Due to my efforts I was offered the opportunity of a two month paid Research and Development Internship at Scott & Fyfe. As a part of the Composites Pod my duties included gaining market insights into the Composite industry with a view to analyze distributors and potential customers not recognized in Latin regions. Another element of my work was to gather insights into Composite product ranges and support new product developments.

 

The best part of everything? I’ve learnt a lot, both at DJCAD and Scott & Fyfe. Studying and working abroad provides you with the ability to leave your comfort zone and it unequivocally influences your worldview. On a personal level, independence and self-confidence is what you take. Besides that, the interaction and contact with people all over the world can provide you long-standing friendships and a diversified network of contacts.

 

On a professional and academic level, the whole experience taught me cross-cultural and interpersonal communication skills while working in a multicultural team, making me able to easily adapt to new settings, backgrounds and challenges that may appear. Scott & Fyfe gave me an awesome opportunity to develop these abilities while working with a competent and challenging team. Thank you guys for everything! 

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Written by Katrina MacKay

On the 30th of September we welcomed over 30 people into our Innovation Space as a part of the Co-operative Development Scotland series of Successful Succession events. This coincided with our 150th Birthday Celebrations and Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning and we think the event was a great success!

 

The purpose of the Employee Ownership event was to promote and encourage current business owners down the route of employee ownership by explaining the journey we took, and the model we are using. Richard Tough, our former family owner, spoke poignantly about the decision that was taken by the family to become employee owned in order to ensure that the company stayed in Tayport, Scotland and would not be sold to a global conglomerate. 

 

Nick Kuenssberg, Chairman then discussed how the transaction took place and how this decision was communicated to the employees. John Palmer, Employee Elected Director closed with a detailed account of how this change has affected the company and its new owners and how we are currently on a mission to achieve employee engagement as we are only 18 months in.

 

After a tour of the factory and the talks we held a Q&A session with the questions being streamed live via twitter (#SFEO) for all to see. There were a lot of really interesting and thought provoking questions asked by our visitors and I think our panel answered them all well!

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For our 150th birthday celebrations we had a Scottish themed hot buffet for our employees and guests and a fantastic cake to cut. The cake was cut by our current longest serving member of staff, Dennis Auld who has been with the company for a whopping 42 years now.

 

Our Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning was also held on this day to raise more funds for this important and worthy charity, to date we have raised over £140. As always there was a fantastic turn out for the cake and candy stall and all of our visitors dug deep and had plenty to eat, who could refuse?

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Written by Michaela Millar

On the 30th September we are thrilled to be hosting the 4th Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) Successful Succession event. The event is aimed towards business owners and advisors who are considering the move to Employee Ownership as a succession option just like we had almost 2 years ago now! If you would like to come along, please get in touch to register.

 

We will kick off at 10am with a brief welcome, followed by a tour of our facility and then various talks. Richard Tough, former owner, will begin by discussing the company’s history and the reasons for choosing the employee ownership model.  The transaction  will be discussed by our Chairman, Nick Kuenssberg. Lastly, our Elected Employee Director, John Palmer will give the employee perspective on the transition.  The audience will then be given the opportunity to put questions to our panel comprising of the speakers and representatives from the workforce.

 

As it’s our 150th birthday, there will be a special Scottish themed lunch complete with birthday cake along with our Big Macmillan Coffee Morning. At this point employees will join in and talk to the guests. It is expected that the event will close around 1pm.

 

 

 In preparation for the event, CDS have kindly presented us with their thoughts on Employee Ownership and it is well worth a read!

 

“Research demonstrates that employee owned companies tend to be more productive and profitable than similar companies with more conventional ownership structures, and have happier employees and customers.  From an economic development perspective, businesses owned by their employees are more likely to remain in their local area, providing jobs and opportunities for local people who will spend their cash in their communities. 

 

This is a particularly sensitive time for Scotland’s economy as we are very much a nation of SME’s and family businesses. The recession put the brakes on business sales and as the economy improves, more business owners are looking to sell. The worry is that if these businesses sell to a company based abroad, then Scotland loses not only the company but all of the jobs and future opportunities.

 

Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is the arm of Scottish Enterprise tasked with promoting employee ownership as a business model.  This year, CDS is running a campaign called Successful Succession which targets these business owners and seeks to show them that there is an alternative to a trade sale; sell to the employees.   We are absolutely delighted that Scott & Fyfe is participating in this campaign. 

 

Employee ownership has helped Scott & Fyfe transfer from a family business providing an exit route for the former owners.  The event gives Scott & Fyfe the opportunity to showcase how the move helped stabilize the company’s activities and ensure the business remained rooted in Tayport.  It hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Scott & Fyfe but the future is now looking brighter.”

 

If you would like any more information about the event then please get in touch with us! For more on employee ownership in general have a look at the CDS website: www.cdscotland.co.uk

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September 15th, 2014 - Tayport, Fife - This week No Dig Live will play host to the preview of the new Alphashield liner by Scott & Fyfe.

 

The Alphashield liner is a new innovation in seamless textile liners for the fast assistance of pipe rehabilitation systems. With a unique tubular knitted 100% glass structure,  Alphashield is an extremely flexible product that offers a perfect solution for the repair of defective pipes with multiple bends of up to 90°. As a virtually fold free product, Alphashield provides an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to time-consuming excavation works.

 

Offered in sizes of DN50 to DN250, Alphashield can be used to restore most defective pipes. The 100% knitted glass structure provides additional reinforcement and can be provided in various thicknesses to suit your end application.

 

You can view the Alphashield liner on the Fluvius stand - 101 inside the No Dig Live exhibition in Peterborough from the 16th -18th September.

 

 Alpha Knit Both

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Written by Megan Barry

I started my placement at Scott & Fyfe this year under the IDTC training programme. The IDTC is a programme which helps young people to get experience in the workplace by assisting them in gaining placements. I had worked in different areas before such as healthcare and the construction industry but I didn’t feel like they were for me. During my placement at Scott & Fyfe I carried out market research tasks to support the Pod Managers and really enjoyed the new challenge!

 

After my placement I was offered a temporary contract to work as ‘Market Insight & Sales Representative’ as part of the Pipe Fabric Technology Pod (PFT). In this role I analysed the Cured In Place Pipe (CIPP) market as a whole and drew conclusions on how Scott & Fyfe should proceed.

 

Other duties in the role included helping out with the Marketing Communications for a new product: Alphashield

 

One of the highlights has been providing factory tours and assisting with academic courses we held for blue chip companies. Here I was able to teach groups the design tools we use in Scott & Fyfe and that was really exciting!!

 

After I completed my placement in the PFT Pod, I was delighted to be offered a permanent contract as ‘Production and Quality Co-ordinator’ as part of the new Productionisation Team in the company. My role is to be in charge of all trials being processed, ensuring that they all run smoothly and to the specifications required. It will be a great new challenge but I am confident it will be great. 

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About Us

With innovation, diversity and partnership at the heart of our company’s ethos, Scott & Fyfe have been designing and producing a vast range of technical textiles for numerous market areas worldwide for almost 150 years. Our ability to design and manufacture products for both current and future market needs have allowed us to build a global reputation for excellence in both quality and service.

Scott & Fyfe
Tayport Works, Links Road, Tayport, Fife, Scotland
DD6 9EE

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