With an exciting new product taking them into a new market, a graduate placement proved to be not just useful, but lucrative too. Managing director Angus Newman tells the story.
What’s your company’s background?
We’re Scotland’s only Glass reinforced plastic (GRP) fibreglass boat builder, established in 1999. The business is based in Lagavulin on the Isle of Islay. In 2009, the business, using its novel GRP technology, diversified into production and fitting fibreglass roofs and other tailor-made fibreglass products.
Why take on a graduate?
Naal has brought the knowledge that we needed that can be applied to many areas of the company.
What has the graduate been involved with?
Using the existing proprietorial knowledge and skills in the workshop and anticipating a rapidly expanding market for home-grown holidays, we’d developed a prototype for a holiday ‘pod’. It uses high-quality GRP for the exterior shell and is fitted out within using pine cladding and high-quality fixtures and fittings. All aspects of the “pod” have been designed and made using eco-materials and the ‘pod’ will be powered and water supplied in an eco-friendly way.
We employed Naal through the TalentScotland Graduate Placement (now ScotGrad) Programme from spring 2012 when the concept was yet to be patented and go on the marke,t as it was still in its prototype form.
Naal produced a very in-depth monitored profile of the StormPod project from Stage 1 [concept] all the way through to delivery. This will in turn become a template for all future projects and new product developments for the company.
What’s been the most powerful benefit?
It has been great to have someone come in with new ideas and eager to work. Naal has brought the knowledge that we needed that can be applied to many areas of the company. His contribution has been a great asset to us, especially with him securing funding for us which has allowed us to grow at a much faster pace. The impact of the placement was greater than anticipated, with greater results achieved.
What would you say to other businesses about the placement programme?
I think the graduate placement programme is a great way for graduates to get a realistic view of the problems and achievements of a small business and it is a mutual benefit to both sides.