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College discounts threat to Korean investment

Janet Lowe, principal of Lauder College, described the decision of the Korean company Hyundai to mothball its emerging semi-conductor plant at Dunfermline as no more than "a temporary setback".

The college was due to begin an extensive training programme for plant employees next month but this has now been delayed. Two new higher national certificate courses in related semi-conductor work will start on schedule.

Extra staff taken on to deliver the increased training will not be affected.

Ms Lowe said: "The company is clearly intending to stay and we are facing a relatively short delay. We would not expect a long delay."

The principal is to meet company representatives early in the new year to discuss the timetable for the training programme. The first 20 of some 400 workers were due to begin their eight-week training programme in mid-January. They will now have to wait a little longer after the South Korean company was forced by the crisis in its domestic economy to delay for 12 months the start of the Pounds 3 billion semi-conductor manufacturing plant.

Lauder signed a one-year contract with Hyundai to train unemployed people in core skills, quality assurance, manufacturing and specifics related to semi-conductor processes. Ms Lowe said the college was committed to economic development in the Dunfermline area and ensuring as many locals as possible secured jobs in the new factory.

Scottish Enterprise, which owns the site and has invested Pounds 21 million in the support network, welcomed Hyundai's pledge to the Fife factory which is expected to generate up to 800 jobs.

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