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A Highland hospitality apprentice was named Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in partnership with Arnold Clark.

Wester Ross-based Rosie Wilkins, who works at luxury hotel The Torridon, received the Award at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum last night.

She also won the Level 2 Apprentice of the Year category, which was sponsored by Diageo.

The 22-year-old said: “It is overwhelming and I was really shocked to hear my name but so happy. My biggest supporter is my employer Rohaise Rose-Bristow who has encouraged me since day one. She told me I could have a future in the business and has been behind me all the way.”

Rosie came to The Torridon two years ago and has worked in the hotel’s kitchen, housekeeping and reception. As part of a hospitality industry programme, Rosie spent times behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace, the 02 arena and HMS Belfast.

“It is overwhelming and I was really shocked to hear my name but so happy. My biggest supporter is my employer Rohaise Rose-Bristow who has encouraged me since day one. She told me I could have a future in the business and has been behind me all the way.”

Shetland Islander Shane Odie received the Foundation Apprentice of the Year Award. The 18-year-old heard about Foundation Apprenticeships at a school talk given by an SDS careers adviser. Work experience at Ocean Kinetics led to him being offered a Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship at the Lerwick marine engineering company.

Software developer Jack Moran received the Level 3 Apprentice of the Year Award. The 25-year-old, who works for multi-national banking and financial services company J.P. Morgan, is part of the company’s global technology division in Glasgow. He completed his apprenticeship at New College Lanarkshire earlier this year and has started a Graduate Level apprenticeship at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Edinburgh technical apprentice Lisa Daniel was given the Level 4 Apprentice of the Year Award, which was sponsored by the Centre for Work-Based Learning. The 25-year-old technical apprentice, who works for global aerospace, defence and security company Leonardo, is the first point of contact for quality management in a technically challenging avionics development programme.

Ayrshire aeronautical engineer Anna Manson received the Apprentice Ambassador of the Year Award, which was sponsored by the Year of Young People 2018. Anna has spoken to local primary pupils about her apprentices, been one of the faces of a campaign to promote Scottish Apprenticeship Week and has taken part in awareness raising campaigns for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Highland company Boiler and Valve Engineering was named as Scotland’s Micro Employer of the Year. The specialist engineering firm recruited two apprentices in one year because of its belief in the value they bring to the business. Managing Director Andrew Macdonald believes apprentices bring energy and enthusiasm that can only benefit his business, which provides maintenance services for major distilleries and public sector organisations across Scotland.

East Lothian fish processing firm J.K. Thomson received the SME Employer of the Year award. Around 85% of the Musselburgh company’s workforce are Modern Apprentices and this figure will rise to 95% over the next year. This is part of a major plan which will see the business expanding its premises and creating a number of new stock items.

 

"I am delighted that Rosie’s valuable contribution and that of the other apprentices and employers' has been recognised with these Awards."

Clydeside employer BAE Systems Naval Ships won the Large Employer of the Year award, which was sponsored by the SQA.  Over the last decade, BAE Systems Naval Ships has recruited more than 700 Modern Apprentices on the River Clyde – covering a range of craft and technician frameworks.

Mitie Property Management was named Promoting Diversity Employer of the Year. The Airdrie based company created the ‘Think Differently’ programme to support people with a wider range of disabilities. Employees volunteered to be disability coaches and mentors and around 60 candidates across the UK will take part in the programme.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde received the Public Sector Employer of the Year award, which was sponsored by QA Apprenticeships. The organisation started its apprenticeship programme four years ago and has recruited 162 apprentices in 14 different apprenticeship frameworks.

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said: “An apprenticeship is a life changing opportunity – providing the chance, not only to work and earn, but also to achieve an industry recognised qualification to support future career ambitions.

“My warmest congratulations to all the worthy winners, demonstrating the fantastic work that both apprentices and their employers do, and particularly well done to Rosie on being named Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year. I look forward to following their careers with great interest in the future.”

SDS Chief Executive Damien Yeates said: “I am delighted that Rosie’s valuable contribution and that of the other apprentices and employers' has been recognised with these Awards. Their efforts show how work-based learning, enthusiastic apprentices and committed employers are changing Scotland’s skills landscape and creating our future workforces.”

Arnold Clark Apprentice Recruitment Manager Suzanne Sherry said: “The dedication and hard work of these inspiring young people and employers is something that we are delighted to sponsor and celebrate.”

“This is the next generation of our workforce and their achievements represent an extremely positive future for young people in Scotland, for employers and for our industries. It’s an honour to be part of it.”

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