Scottish Apprenticeship Awards 2016 winners

The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards 2016 took place at the National Museum of Scotland on Thursday 3 November.

Congratulations to all of our winners. Find out who took home the trophies below.

Apprentice of the year

Joe Robert Smith

Tulloch Developments Ltd, Lerwick

Joe had a weekend job as a ground worker with concrete specialists Tulloch Developments.

Now, the 22-year-old is one of the company's most respected civil engineers. His construction technical apprenticeship has given him a range of skills that let his employer tender for larger projects, where his qualifications are required.

He's site-managed projects including land reclamation, tarring six miles of road on a gas plant, setting out works for an airport runway approach and constructing a suspended walkway under a bridge. And he's started his Chartered qualifications with the Institute of Civil Engineers.

'I've been lucky to have been given responsibility and enjoy the good mix of work,' says Joe. 'It's very satisfying when everyone has done their bit and the work is completed.'

Joe also won the Apprentice of the year - Level 4 and above category.

Apprentice of the Year – Level 2

Murrie Robertson

East Ayrshire Council Vibrant Communities

Murrie works with children and young people with additional support needs, as an Active Schools Modern Apprentice. Since starting, he's impressed manager Gary Seymour with his enthusiasm, drive and willingness to learn. 

'He has been exceptional and very keen to support the schools and pupils, and gain new training awards to help him progress his development as well as achieving the targets,' says Gary.

Murrie's efforts have raised attendance at breakfast, lunch and community evening clubs. He has gained sports qualifications in golf, football, handball, basketball and as a lifeguard.

'I enjoy my job so much because every day is different,' Murrie says. 'It's because I enjoy sport so much that I want to get other people interested and involved in it.'

This category was sponsored by GTG Training.

Apprentice of the Year – Level 3

Colette Cassidy

Lullaby Lane Nursery, Bearsden

Colette, 18, comes from a big family, so she's always helped to look after children. That meant a career in childcare felt like a natural step for her.

She moved from work experience to a Modern Apprenticeship at Lullaby Lane nursery. 

'The best part of my job is seeing the children's smiles,' she says. 'It is great when you can see on their faces just how happy they are.'

Her hard work has been recognised by her colleagues.

'She is always the first to help out when needed and her work ethic and reliability is exceptional,' says Pauline Scott, nursery director. 

'Our children and their parents love her.'

This category was sponsored by Diageo.

Male Modern Apprentice Connor works on an open truck engine panel while wearing a high-vis jacket

Foundation Apprentice of the Year

Connor Waldron

St. Kentigern's Academy, Bathgate

Connor's Foundation Apprenticeship in engineering has already proved its worth. Having completed it, he successfully applied to become a HGV vehicle maintenance Modern Apprentice with West Lothian Council.

'The people in the team have been great, and there's real satisfaction in what we do,' he says. 'The best bit of my job is when you've fixed something on a truck or car and then you see someone driving off in it and think, "I fixed that".'

Helen Young, Depute Head of Centre for West Lothian College - where Connor studied for his FA - adds, 'Connor's passion and enthusiasm shone through and I could tell he had potential at an early stage.'

Apprentice Ambassador of the Year Sophie stands in a meeting room

Apprentice Ambassador of the Year

Sophie Ewen

Aberdeen Asset Management, Aberdeen

Sophie, 21, is known to her colleagues as the 'go to' person for anything related to apprenticeships. Having started as an apprentice herself, she's now Aberdeen Asset Management's graduate programme coordinator.

'I think the part of my job I enjoy most is supporting new talent coming into the business,' she says.

To help promote apprenticeships, Sophie has spoken about her experience at events and initiatives. She also lead on production of an apprenticeship brochure encouraging young people into the business, and helped to establish the apprenticeship programme in Edinburgh.

This category was sponsored by Young Scot.

Micro Employer of the Year Maclean Construction stand in high-vis vests on a construction site

Micro Employer of the Year

Maclean Construction


Maclean Construction owner Craig Maclean believes investing in training is the key to providing a sound economic strategy for his business.

'I think you have to take the longer term view and give people a chance to train,' he says. 'I suppose it's growing your own talent, but it's also important to give people the time to get those skills and learn their trade.

'In a rural area, you have to be versatile so it's not just bricklaying that our apprentices have to learn. They have to be able to render and roughcast as well.'

Craig has provided training for the company's two Modern Apprentices which combines traditional skills with modern methods and technology. 

Pictured (l-r) are Craig Maclean, Calum Morrison and Fred Wimpenny.

SME Employer of the Year

Ferguson Marine

Port Glasgow

For shipbuilders Ferguson Marine, apprenticeships are a key part of preparing for the future. 

'With an aging profile within our established workforce, the apprenticeship programme allows us to capture the highly valued skills and knowledge of our workforce, and transfer this to a new generation,' says head of HR Kelly O'Rourke. 'This helps to ensure sustainability and sound succession planning.'

Apprentices have reduced the company's age profile, and attracted female employees in what's traditionally been a male-dominated environment. 

The business has committed to recruiting 150 apprentices by 2020 - and is on track with 35 employed since last year. 

'We are expanding into new areas where we can continue to grow, and apprentices are a very important part of those plans,' Kelly adds.

Pictured (l-r) are Louise-Sarah Larkin, Liam Donnachie and Cameron Hendry.

Four Modern Apprentices from Lloyds sit smartly dressed at a desk in a boardroom

Large Employer of the Year

Lloyds Banking Group

'I'd head about apprentices bringing enthusiasm, drive and loyalty to their workplaces and that's exactly what we've found,' says Emily Austin, apprenticeship lead at Lloyds Banking Group.

'Feedback from our colleagues shows that apprenticeships help them feel more connected with the Group and confident of career progression. That is reflected in our completion and retention rates. 

'Apprentices are trailblazing in the organisation and feel invested in, visible and valued.'

More than 288 apprentices have started work with Lloyds in Scotland. More than half of them are female, and over a third come from the UK's most deprived areas.

'Apprenticeships now provide a viable alternative route into our business and we will use this to further expand the choices available for more young people in the future,' says Emily.

Public Sector Employer of the Year

City Building LLP


As the largest provider of apprenticeships in Scotland, City Building has trained almost 1000 apprentices since 2007. Some of them come from Glasgow's most deprived areas.

'We continually review the apprenticeship programme and deliver what we feel is a unique induction course that not only delivers mandatory health and safety topics, but a transitional training, a credit union talk and budgeting advice, talks from youth counselling services and site visits,' says Lynsey Chambers, City Building's training centre manager. 

'As a result, our apprentices become better communicators and problem solvers.'

A strong apprenticeship programme has also helped the group develop new business opportunities.

'An example of this was a contract win with local housing associations, where we could show that we offered training and development opportunities for their tenants,' Lynsey says. 

This category was sponsored by QA Apprenticeships.

Promoting Diversity Employer of the Year

BAE Systems Naval Ships

This Clydeside employer places particular emphasis on working with the next generation joining the business through its apprenticeship programmes.

'We want to ensure the workforce reflects the communities we operate in, but also want to benefit from the fresh, innovative thinking that younger generations can contribute to our future,' says Graeme Whiteford, HR early careers manager.

As a business with an aging workforce, BAE uses apprenticeships as an opportunity to educate both older and younger generations on generational diversity. They also offer apprentice support staff who can provide technical and behavioural development, as well as pastoral care. An Apprentice Council gives apprentices a voice in the business and the Outlink group provides support and advice for LGBT employees.

The business is also working hard to attract more women into its workforce through outreach programmes for pupils, parents and teachers, including female-only work experience and open evenings.

'These events provide an opportunity to encourage girls to find out about the opportunities we have and are supported by our female colleagues from all parts of the business,' Graeme says.

Pictured (l-r) are Conor Kerr, Nicola Scrimgeour and Karen McQuade.

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