Alistair Carmichael related his experience of a visit to Robbie Fluid Engineering as keynote speaker at the Annual Regional Dinner for the Federation of Small Businesses. He said “People like Mark go to great lengths, work long hours and take big risks to establish small businesses. Whatever their reasons might be, the efforts of small businesses should be supported and not hindered by Government.” Praise indeed. Robbie Fluid Engineering Ltd, have built up their specialist fluid engineering business and have now moved to new premises in Bathgate. RFE (Robbie Fluid Engineering) originally opened operations in 2006. Based close to junction 3a on the M8, a great central location, the Robbie Fluid business offers a wide range of pneumatic, hydraulic, and associated seals and filtration products and components. The aim of the business is, first of all, taking care of fluid related problems and where appropriate, bringing technology and expertise within easy reach of everybody involved in business, regardless of whether they run a large industrial site, manage a smaller maintenance, construction or commercial vehicle operation, or simply an occasional user of spares or component parts. Last year RFE were runner up as Business of the Year, judged by West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, and this year were highly commended for demonstrating excellence in the development of staff skills and knowledge. Managing Director Mark Robbie reports on RFE’s success, “we realised years ago that we could not expect the market place to deliver people to match our skill and knowledge needs, so we decided to further train our own staff. Recently our first in-house trained apprentice became a qualified engineer and within five years we expect half of our work force to be aged 25 years or younger. We were recently visited by the Secretary of State for Scotland who had heard about our training successes. We have simply grown from strength to strength”.