Scottish Apprenticeship Awards

The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the incredible work of Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprentices. They also recognise the dedicated employers, learning providers and individuals who champion apprenticeships.  

We're delighted to reveal this year's winners from across Scotland, who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to apprenticeships and work-based learning.

We celebrated our winners and finalists at an inspirational live ceremony in Aberdeen - watch our short video for highlights of the event.

This year's winners

Scotland's Apprentice of the Year

Marc Ingram

Framework: Food and Drink Operations

Employer: Blair Drummond Smiddy

Learning provider: Craft Skills Scotland 


A Modern Apprenticeship has been life-changing for young butcher Marc Ingram, who overcame personal challenges and helped boost business for his employer.   

Marc, 18, left school with few qualifications because of his dyslexia – but hasn’t looked back after completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Food and Drink Operations (Butchery).  

Working with a team of butchers at Blair Drummond Smiddy, Stirlingshire, helped him gain skills and competence and he has played a significant role in the 24% growth the business achieved.  

Marc, of Falkirk, said: 'I used to feel so ashamed that I couldn’t read or write properly but doing the Modern Apprenticeship has totally changed my life.'

Foundation Apprentice of the Year

Jennifer Emmanuel​

Framework: Social Services: Children and Young People ​

Employer: Kaimhill Primary School Nursery

Learning provider: Aberlour Futures​


Sponsored by BAE systems logo

Jennifer Emmanuel has landed her dream job in childcare after going the extra mile during work experience on a Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services: Children and Young People in her final year at school.

The former St Machar Academy pupil, 17, drew on the experience when she applied for an Early Years Assistant role at Treehouse Early Care and Education Centre in Aberdeen, which is operated by Bright Horizons in partnership with Robert Gordon University. Now she plans to start a Modern Apprenticeship.

Jennifer, of Aberdeen, said: 'Doing the Foundation Apprenticeship helped with my job interview because I could talk about my work placement experience and show what I had learned.'

Modern Apprentice of the Year SCQF Level 5

Marc Ingram​

Framework: Food and Drink Operations

Employer: Blair Drummond Smiddy

Learning provider: Craft Skills Scotland ​


Sponsored by SQA Logo

Apprentice butcher Marc Ingram says the opportunity to work at a farm shop has been 'life-changing'. Marc, 18, was worried for the future after leaving Falkirk High aged 15 with few qualifications, due to his dyslexia and ADHD.

Eager to make his mark, Marc applied for a Modern Apprenticeship in Food and Drink Operations (Butchery) through the school. He started working with a team of butchers at the popular Blair Drummond Smiddy Farm Shop and quickly picked up important skills.

Marc's become an important member of the team, completing his apprenticeship and playing a role in the impressive growth seen by the business.

Modern Apprentice of the Year SCQF Level 6+

Iona McGhie​

Framework: Engineering 

Employer: Diageo​

Learning provider: Fife College


Iona McGhie hopes her path through Scottish Apprenticeships with premium drinks firm Diageo will inspire other young women to get into a career in science, technology, engineering or maths.

The 23-year-old engineer took a Foundation Apprenticeship at Kirkland High School and decided to continue to pursue her dream career through work-based learning.

In her Modern Apprenticeship Iona played an integral role in an engineering team who fix breakdowns, complete maintenance and solve problems. She's now progressed on to a Graduate Apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering with the firm.

Iona said: 'I love what I do and want to inspire other young women to think about STEM careers too.'

Graduate Apprentice of the Year

Mark Diamond​

Framework: Engineering: Design and Manufacture

Employer: Aggreko

Learning provider: Glasgow Caledonian University


Sponsored by Leidos logo - violet - 1324 x 314

A Graduate Apprenticeship has taken West Dunbartonshire engineer Mark Diamond to the other side of the world to help power global sporting events.

Growing up near energy solutions business Aggreko’s manufacturing plant in Dumbarton inspired Mark to apply for a Graduate Apprenticeship in Engineering: Design and Manufacture with the firm.

Mark, 21, was part of the Aggreko Events Team who successfully designed and delivered the temporary power for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Mark said: 'Doing a Graduate Apprenticeship is the best of both worlds – putting your learning into practice and gaining valuable experience.'

Apprentice Ambassador of the Year

Missy-Anne Spence​

Framework: Providing Financial Services

Employer: Lloyds Banking Group​

Learning provider: Babbington


Sponsored by Arnold Clark Logo - 537 x 46

Ever since she was the first apprentice for Lloyds Banking Group back in 2012, Missy-Anne Spence has grabbed every opportunity to boost her career. Now she dedicates her spare time to help others do the same.

She undertook a Modern Apprenticeship in Providing Financial Services in 2019 and hopes to progress to a Graduate Apprenticeship in Chartered Management.

But above all, Missy-Anne, 31, is a proactive ambassador for apprenticeships, using her own time to support projects that promote them.

She said: 'I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for my apprenticeships and it makes me want to inspire others do the same.'

Supporting Net Zero Apprentice of the Year

Mandeep Singh​

Framework: Electrical Installation ​

Employer: FES Group (Energy & Renewables Division)​

Learning provider: West College Scotland


Electrical Installation Modern Apprentice Mandeep Singh has put his passion for net zero to practical use through work that has drastically reduced CO2 emissions and helped Scots cut their energy bills.

Currently in his second year, the 20-year-old has already helped reduce CO2 emissions by well over 1,000 tonnes a year via solar farms and district heating projects he’s involved in across Scotland.

Mandeep, of Renfrew, said: 'Helping work towards net zero through my Modern Apprenticeship is really important to me because it will have an impact on all of our futures.'

Apprentice Instructor of the Year

William Andrew​

Employer: South Ayrshire Council 


William Andrew has given South Ayrshire Council an advantage when it comes to recruiting and training apprentices.

William is Service Lead for Property Maintenance, running the department which looks after the area’s public buildings. This requires a squad of trade specialists and part of William’s job is ensuring these jobs are filled with the best candidates. William has invested in apprentices to find new talent and tackle the nationwide shortage of skilled plumbers, joiners and electricians.

His department has 25 Modern Apprentices – when William started in his role 12 years ago there were eight. To date, William has supported over 100 craft trade apprentices.

William said: 'I make sure that when the apprentices finish, they're tradespeople who can be brought on as full-time employees and the council gets the benefits. I get so much satisfaction seeing them progress into tradespeople, just like I did.'

SME Employer of the Year

Ri Cruden Ltd​

Location: Inverness


Sponsored by Well-Safe Solutions default logo (Hi res, CYMK file) (2)

Growing its talent through apprentices has helped Ri Cruden become an eco success story, driving the green energy revolution across the Highlands.

The Inverness-based plumbing and heating company began the move into renewables 10 years ago. Since then it's installed biomass boilers, heat pumps and solar panels throughout the north-west of Scotland and beyond.

But when working with developing technologies it’s almost impossible to buy talent off the peg. So the company invests in apprentices to give it a workforce with the unique skills needed in this fast-changing industry.

Ri Cruden’s Daniel Ross explained: 'The Highlands doesn’t have enough existing renewables specialists with the skills we need. The best solution is to develop our own. We take the traditional journeyman apprentice method and tweak it to meet our business’s needs and for the future of the renewable sector.'

Large Employer of the Year

Score Group Ltd​

Location: Peterhead


Sponsored by AS LOGO Colour RGB

When specialist engineers Score Group discovered a blockage in their apprentice recruitment pipeline, they found a practical solution.

The company, with 950 employees across Scotland, struggled to find school leavers with the maths skills needed for its engineering apprenticeships. So, working with schools around their Peterhead headquarters, it set up maths clubs to help potential apprentices build numeracy skills for the job.

Leighton Willox, Score’s head of training, explained: 'People were applying for apprenticeships without the qualifications that our college learning-provider partners look for. Our engineers can explain why you need maths by taking real-life examples into the classroom.'

It’s helped Score recruit the large numbers of apprentices they need every year. The company currently has 130 Modern Apprentices - 110 in technical disciplines and 20 in business support. There are also 12 Graduate Apprentices. Together, the apprentices make up almost 15% of the workforce.