Five Edinburgh Modern Apprentices are among the nominees for national success, and for added maturity, one of them is in his 30s
HE’S no rookie, but he’s up for a Modern Apprentice award on Wednesday night (21 November).
Kitchen manager, Andrew Cameron, is quietly confident about his chances in the the Adult Apprentice of the Year category. So he should be – Andrew is not quite as fresh as the produce he skilfully prepares for diners at the southside’s Salisbury Arms, but, at 34 years-old, he’s probably the perfect candidate for the award.
Modern Apprenticeships have become an established career route of choice for Scotland’s young people, and for more mature students as well. The awards add glamour to the tradition, and this year’s finalists demonstrate a wide breadth of careers and companies, with eight separate categories ranging from construction and production to best business newcomer.
Andrew has had the backing of management at the Salisbury Arms, and has lived up to the challenge.
“The structured nature of the apprenticeship helped me fit in additional studies with my work”, says Andrew. “That’s the traditional part of the Modern Apprenticeship, but it recognises that you need to be on a faster track in this day and age, to keep up with developments, and make your learning more relevant to the workplace. I’ve been able to put my apprenticeship skills into practice right away at The Salisbury Arms, and that’s been a big help for me”.
The Modern Apprenticeship scheme, administered by Skills Development Scotland, has seen record numbers this year, with 25,000 opportunities taken up, and the same number available in each of the next three years.
“There’s plenty of talent out there”, says Andrew, “so I’m proud to have made the finals, and hope I can go one step further.”
With a wealth of experience in hospitality, but no formal qualifications, Andrew had to show his skills to earn a position in one of the busiest kitchens in Edinburgh. Still, that wasn’t enough to satisfy his desire to make the grade. He trained as a Modern Apprentice (MA) while working at the Salisbury Arms, and now he’s aiming towards an advanced qualification. Andrew encourages colleagues to follow his lead, and develop new skills.
“There’s always room to improve yourself, and I’d always encourage anyone to make the most of themselves. It’s given me a new-found confidence, and I’m more eager than ever to learn more.”
Andrew is not alone in representing Edinburgh. When the awards ceremony rolls in to Glasgow’s Science Centre on Wednesday, the capital will have a handful of finalists up there with him.
Estate agents and solicitors, McEwan Fraser Legal, and international IT services company, Atos, are both in the Scotland’s Best Business Newcomer category.
The newly-refurbished Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa is hoping for success in the award’s Partnership category, and specialist recruitment company Bright Purple Resourcing is up for the Small Employers category.
“Everyone’s done really well to get this far”, says Andrew, “and they’ll all be welcome back at the Salisbury Arms for a celebration, anytime.”
Contact: Simon Walton