Jobs for some as Velux site is broken up

Velux in Glenrothes
Velux in Glenrothes

Efforts to find jobs for the 180 employees of Velux, the Glenrothes-based specialist window manufacturer, who were made redundant in October, are ongoing.

To date, 110 former workers from Fife Joinery Manufacturing - the production arm of the operation - have secured re-employment, while Fife Council remains hopeful that suitable outcomes can be found for the remaining 70 staff.

The employees had highly valued transferable skills and this has been reflected in the numbers that have found jobs

Pamela Stevenson, lead officer with Fife Council’s Economy, Planning and Employability Services

That was the message to the town’s area committee this week from Pamela Stevenson, lead officer with Fife Council’s Economy, Planning and Employability Services.

“The employees had highly valued transferable skills and this has been reflected in the numbers that have found jobs,” Mrs Stevenson told Councillors.

It’s understood the local authority have been working closely with Velux management to finalise plans for bringing large parts of the now vacant site at Viewfield back into use.

It is anticipated nine substantial business units could be developed from the huge manufacturing footprint that Velux once had in the area.

However, Mrs Stevenson confirmed there is a significant amount of work still to be done before the sites could be offered to businesses.

“Because of the connected nature of how Fife Joinery and Velux operated the sites are ‘network related’ and so we are currently working with the likes of Scottish Power and other utility providers to break up those connections,” explained Mrs Stevenson.

She added that once the work had been carried out, the sites would be made available as part of a phased approach in order not to saturate the market of available space in Fife.

“Benefiting from some of the best road networks and logistics in Fife we already have a number of very interested businesses looking at the possibility of using the site, “ she added.

Workers at Fife Joinery manufacturing - the production arm of Velux Group PLC were informed in October 2014 that 180 jobs would be axed “following a strategic review of its manufacturing functions across Europe”.

Senior political figures failed in their attempt to save the workforce despite a last minute intervention and intense negotiation.

In the wake of the announcement Fife Council organised an employment open day which aimed to shop window the skilled workforce and generate new employment opportunities.

“The employee open day event was a success and attracted a number of business and helped highlight the highly skilled members of the Fife Joinery workforce that were now available ,” said Mrs Stevenson.