RAY Fernie will be remembered as the person who started the 'employability' revolution during his time at Lochgelly High School.

It was with great sadness that I learned of Ray's death and immediately I remembered when he called the Times Office almost eight years ago to tell us of an idea he hoped was going to give pupils at the school the tools to be totally ready to enter the workplace.

A former Rosyth Dockyard worker Ray entered teaching a little later in his working life and a discussion with a former pupil of the school, John Penman, spawned his ideas of how a structure could be put in place to better prepare youngsters for their entry into working life.

His enthusiasm for the project saw him get the full backing of then new Lochgelly High rector Carol Ann Penrose and within a matter of weeks he had a whole list of local businesses signed up to play their part in the cause and soon the school had 'employability' sessions up and running and representatives of the companies signed up to the cause were holding regular talks at the school passing on to pupils what they were looking for from candidates.

Such was the success of the project soon it was being used by other schools in Fife and is now a key part of the education service in the Kingdom, an indeed nationally.

And the views of the young man we have in this week's tribute to Ray really summed the success of the project up when he said that he owed the way his working life had developed to him.

In his new role with Fife Education authority working with the Department of Promoting Work for Young People he had already made quite an impact and it is something that is certain to continue to grow in the coming months.

Without Ray's initial work things would never had advanced so quickly and he thoroughly deserves all the credit he has received.