Johnstons take employee education to a whole new level

Angus Robertson with some of the pupils who are gaining from the Johnston Schools Interaction initiative.
Angus Robertson with some of the pupils who are gaining from the Johnston Schools Interaction initiative.

PLANS TO RECRUIT the very best graduates from Moray schools have been revealed by a leading Moray textiles firm this week.

Johnstons of Elgin say they aim to attract more local school leavers to the company – and would continue their education by teaching them the basics of what employers are expecting from them in future.

The firm has rolled out a new apprentice training project that will provide posts for young people in a variety of positions and say that they are determined to encourage other major firms in Moray to follow their example.

Johnstons’ human resources director Willie Wood said: “This is a concept that can be introduced and managed at Johnstons and other businesses in the area. We want to attract more school leavers to work here – we are looking for the ‘cream of the crop’.

“As well as offering them the chance of a really good job we are teaching youngsters the basics of what employers are looking for.”

Over the last twelve months Johnstons have worked with a total of 60 students from Moray schools.

One of the first to benefit from the project is Rhiannan Flaws from Buckie High School, who said: “When I began this project I did not really have a clue what Johnstons was.”

On hearing that Education Scotland were “hugely excited” by the project, Moray’s MP Angus Robertson said: “What shines out to me is the pride these young people have in their work and in the firm.”

Meanwhile Johnstons have revealed that they are to open a new flagship store on London’s Bond Street.  The new 2480 square feet store over five floors will join their existing three stores based at their mills in Elgin, Hawick and another in St Andrews.

Chief Executive Simon Cotton said: “Determined customers have had to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to see our full collections at our two mills in Scotland.

“I am delighted that we are finally able to present to London a selection of some of the beautiful product which our craftsmen and women have been perfecting for the last 218 years.”