The search for the country’s top Modern Apprentices was launched today by Education Secretary Michael Russell as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2012.
Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards, delivered by Skills Development Scotland, will take place this November, following a record-breaking year which saw more than 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) delivered.
Mr Russell opened nominations at the Scottish Parliament as he met with Modern Apprentices from training providers SECTT and Rewards working in sectors ranging from electrical engineering to the creative industries.
The announcement at the Scottish Parliament was just one of several events that have taken place across Scotland this week to raise awareness of the further 25,000 Modern Apprenticeship (MA) places available to employers and young people this year.
The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning said:
“We can be rightly proud of delivering a record-breaking 26,427 Modern Apprenticeships last year and are determined to repeat this success, by offering opportunities to the same number of young people for each year of this government.
“Scottish Apprenticeship Week has provided an opportunity to show employers that they have much to gain from hiring a Modern Apprentice and it has also been great to hear people’s stories for myself today.
“Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards celebrate exactly this type of individual and employer success and there can be no better advert than the contenders we will hear about in the weeks and months ahead.”
The Awards celebrate the significant contribution Modern Apprentices, employers and partners have made to the development of the MA programme and Scotland’s economy.
Along with the main award, individual categories include construction and production apprentice of the year, service apprentice of the year and adult apprentice of the year.
Last year’s top apprentice was 22 year-old Jamie Gray, an aeronautical engineer with Spirit AeroSystems Ltd, in Prestwick.
Jamie, who is now a qualified quality engineer, was clear about what winning the Outstanding Achievement Award meant.
He said: “I was a quiet boy from a quiet village but was pushed to go for my dream job and I got the job and realised my dream. I would say to anyone to go for what they want, especially if it is an apprenticeship, to go for it and give it 110 per cent.”
Employer awards include categories for businesses with fewer than 50 workers, for companies with up to 250 and more than 250 employees. There is a partnership award for groups who can show their commitment to apprentices.
A Best Business Newcomer award will be given to a company – from any sector – which has shown a commitment to Modern Apprentice training.
John McClelland, Chair of SDS, said:
“It has never been more important for businesses across Scotland to grow and develop a skilled workforce. Employers can find out how they can access support to help them to employ apprentices by calling our helpline on 0800 783 6000 or going onto our website.”
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