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Civil Engineer Joe Smith says winning Apprentice of the Year and Higher Level Apprentice of the Year has had a huge impact on his career and has been a massive boost to his confidence.

Shetland Islander Joe wants to ensure other young people have the same experience and is urging employers, training providers and apprentices to get their entries in for this year’s awards.

The 22-year-old had a weekend job as a ground worker with Lerwick-based concrete specialists Tulloch Developments while he was still at school before starting his apprenticeship in civil engineering. Joe is now one of the firm’s most respected civil engineers.

Since his win, Joe has taken on more responsibility while working as part of the management team tasked with delivering a highly technical project within a live gas processing plant, as well as opportunities to promote apprenticeships.

Joe said: “The experience of even being nominated was huge for me. To have such support and recognition from my employers reinforced the feeling that I’m on the right track and I’m doing the right things.

“I’m so glad I chose to do an apprenticeship rather than go to University. Learning on the job every single day has been really valuable to me, as has the publicity surrounding the win which has led to great opportunities for networking.

“I would encourage all employers, training providers and apprentices to make sure they get their entries in before the deadline.”

Joe’s girlfriend Clare Farmer who was also a finalist in last year’s awards continues to do well, currently undertaking her Level 4 Modern Apprenticeship in Accountancy.


The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards recognise achievements of individuals and employers involved in apprenticeships.

There are 10 categories including Apprentice Ambassador of the Year, Level 2, 3 and higher Apprentices of the Year as well as awards for micro, SME, large and public sector employers.

One individual category winner will be named Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year.

Winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony on Thursday 16 November at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.


Entries are open now, with full details on and a deadline of Wednesday 28 June.

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