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A teenage aviation engineer has been named Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year after seeing his career take off.

Fraser Wallace scooped the top prize at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

The 18-year-old was one of the first young people in the country to complete a Foundation Apprenticeship – available to school pupils – before starting a Modern Apprenticeship job.

Fraser completed his Foundation Apprenticeship with Ayrshire College with work placements at aviation experts GE Caledonian.

The Greenwood Academy pupil landed a Modern Apprenticeship when he left school after impressing the bosses with his performance and passion for the job.

Fraser also won the title of Foundation Apprentice of the Year at the event.

Support to achieve

He received both awards in front his employer, college, family and over 300 guests at a ceremony held at Perth Concert Hall last night (Thursday, 15 November).

Speaking about his win, Fraser said: "It feels absolutely amazing to win this award and I'm really happy to have been recognised for my achievement.

"My biggest supporters have been my mum and dad, the college and everyone at my work, including Stephen McNab at GE Caledonian.

"I'd say to anyone thinking about what to do in their career to think about their options and give an apprenticeship a shot, because, like me, you never know what can happen."

Stephen McNab of GE Caledonian, said: “Fraser has a genuine interest and a genuine passion which came through and it carried him forward to the next stage of his Foundation Apprenticeship.

“He really excelled and was one of the top performers in his year.”

Apprentices and employers awarded

Apprentices and employers from across Scotland were applauded at the event, attended by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP and Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP.

Mr Hepburn said: “The growth of apprenticeships means that apprentices are becoming the lifeblood of businesses across the country.

“The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards recognise the country’s most talented apprentices and employers of all sizes backing work-based learning.”

Chair of Skills Development Scotland, Frank Mitchell, said: “Apprenticeships are changing people’s lives and benefiting businesses across Scotland.

“Fraser is a fantastic example of the opportunities work-based learning provide to work and learn.

“All the employers and individuals who were nominated and won awards are testament to the power of apprenticeships to provide skills for the future.”

Diversity and instructors recognised

Inverclyde’s Robert McLatchie, 20, was crowned Modern Apprentice of the Year (SCQF Level 5), sponsored by Diageo.

HSBC’s Lorena Cocozza picked up Modern Apprentice of the Year (SCQF Level 6+), which was sponsored by JP Morgan.

Ryan O’Connor of Jacobs UK in Edinburgh, rounded off the perfect year by being named Apprentice Ambassador of the Year.

Justyna Dabrowska of Paisley picked up the Graduate Apprentice Rising Star award for her work with Peak Scientific Instruments while studying at the University of Strathclyde.

Three apprentice instructors were rewarded for years of tireless work in developing the younger generation of workers.

Kenny Stewart of FES Group, Charlie Murphy of BAE Systems and Arnold Clark’s James Swan were all recognised for their contributions in supporting apprentices through their jobs.

Arnold Clark also gained recognition as a business, picking up the Large Employer of the Year award, sponsored by SQA.

Fellow business, Glasgow laminates company, Rearo, claimed the Promoting Diversit SME Employer of the Year Award.

Financial services firm J.P. Morgan Chase, which has its hub in Glasgow city centre, won the Promoting Diversity Large Employer of the Year title.

Edinburgh’s Cortex Worldwide won the title of SME Employer of the Year, sponsored by QA Apprenticeships.

More information

For information on apprenticeships go to apprenticeships.scot

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