Case Studies

The Workshop Aberfeldy

An experienced design and technology teacher who has also worked in industry, Paul Parmenter set up the Workshop in Aberfeldy, Perthshire in June 2014 with funding and business support from Firstport.

Paul Parmenter provides low-cost, high-quality solutions to his customers, who would otherwise struggle to find suppliers given the relative isolation of the area. He has worked on a range of projects in the local community, such as making signs for local businesses, laser-cutting medals for the local triathlon and making scenery for Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

The Workshop supports people toward employment, offering training in practical manufacturing and business-place skills in a business environment.

One success story is 16-year-old Connor, who was disengaged with school and started at the Workshop doing two days a week work experience. He proved such an asset to the business that Paul was able to offer him a positive destination which allowed the teenager to leave school. Paul explained:

Connor came to us to do woodwork but I felt it was better that he tried everything. He made such a success of his first task  –  welding steel racking for a local events company – that he effectively paid for the first six months of his employment. He has been so enthusiastic and eager to learn.