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A talented Irvine teenager has netted the title of Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year 2019 after saving hundreds of thousands of pounds for his seafood manufacturer employer.

Nineteen-year-old Jordan Fairlamb was named the nation’s top apprentice at a ceremony held at the Caird Hall in Dundee by the national skills agency, Skills Development Scotland.

Jordan was hooked on apprenticeships after learning about them from his Skills Development Scotland careers adviser, taking a Supply Chain Management Modern Apprenticeship with Lanarkshire-based Dawnfresh Seafoods straight from school.

His value, potential and proactive ‘can-do’ attitude was quickly spotted by bosses.

Adding value to Dawnfresh

Jordan’s initiative included avoiding £60,000 of costs for the firm by single-handedly solving a customer’s packaging issue and finding a solution to save £100,000 of stock.

Currently responsible for the day-to-day ordering of salmon for the Bothwell Industrial Park business, Jordan manages stock worth £1.8million. He has also developed and increased staff sales.

Jordan, who has progressed in Dawnfresh to be the company’s first Graduate Apprentice, also won the title of Modern Apprentice of the Year Level 6+ sponsored by J.P. Morgan.

He lifted the trophies in front his employer, family and over 350 guests at the ceremony.

Honoured and thankful

Speaking about his win, Jordan said: “I feel amazing, it’s such a great honour to be Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year and have won both awards tonight. It’s just such a great opportunity and a reason for anyone to go into apprenticeships.

"For the future, it puts me in really good stead for business and I hope to progress further in my role. The next step for me is completing my Graduate Apprenticeship and hopefully just onwards and upwards into senior management.

Thanking those who have supported him, Jordan said: “I’d like to say a great thanks to Dawnfresh, who nominated me for these awards and put me forward for my Graduate Apprenticeship. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“My friends and family think it’s amazing that I’m an apprentice –they're really proud of me.”

Dawnfresh Learning and Development Manager, Kristy Reynolds said: “Jordan has grown from a young man who knew nothing of our industry to a valuable member of our team, driven by his proactive approach.

“Overall, Jordan is a fantastic example of an apprentice, who has balanced academic study with making a quantifiable difference to the organisation.”

Praise from Deputy First Minister

Apprentices and employers from across Scotland were applauded at the event by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP, who sent a special filmed message to the finalists.

Mr Swinney said: “The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards showcase the best in work-based learning and the finalists represent tens of thousands of apprentices in training throughout Scotland, each with their own story to share and to be proud of.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to meet apprentices across Scotland and I’m always greatly impressed by their dedication, commitment and enthusiasm.

“That is why the Scottish Government continues to invest in the development and delivery of apprenticeships, with more opportunities available than ever before.

“Apprentices have continued to make a positive difference to business and to help underpin Scotland’s economic competitiveness by providing us with the skills we need for today and tomorrow.”

2019 winners

Now in its 18th year, the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards bring together apprentices, employers and learning providers to celebrate the contributions apprenticeships make to the economy.

Hayley Donaldson, who works in IT and telecommunications at Pheonix Group was crowned Apprentice Ambassador of the Year, sponsored by QA.

Fife teen Joe Pirrie, who has progressed to become a Modern Apprentice in Early Learning and Childcare, was named Foundation Apprentice of the Year sponsored by Balfour Beatty.

Hospitality apprentice Mirhan Smith, who works in East Calder at The Larder Cook School, won the title of Modern Apprentice of the Year SCQF Level 5, sponsored by College Development Network.

Thirty-eight year old GlaxoSmithKline engineer, David William Mackenzie was crowned Graduate Apprentice Rising Star, which was sponsored by the Centre for Work Based Learning.

Stephen McNab, Apprentice Leader at aeronautical engineering firm GE Caledonian in Prestwick earned the title of Apprentice Instructor of the Year, which was supported by Scotland’s Apprentice Network.

Employers large and small were also recognised at the ceremony.

Egger UK Limited based in Ayrshire won the title of SME Employer of the Year, which was supported by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

The Large Employer of the Year title was awarded to J.P.Morgan, which was sponsored by SQA.

Midlothian-based Ingenza Limited won the accolade of Promoting Diversity SME Employer of the Year, sponsored by People Plus.

Wheatley Group were awarded Promoting Diversity Large Employer of the year, sponsored by Stagecoach.

Apprenticeships provide productivity and diversity for  business

Chair of Skills Development Scotland, Frank Mitchell, said: “More than ever, employers are recognising the benefits of investing in skills and apprenticeships.

"The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards show the value apprentices add to businesses and the economy.

"This year's fantastic winners and finalists show that apprenticeships provide productivity, diversity, fresh talent, and the right skills for Scotland.

"Congratulations to Jordan, who is a great example of apprenticeships unlocking potential and changing lives."

 

More information

Visit the event page on apprenticeships.scot for a full list of all the Scottish Apprenticeships Awards 2019 winners.

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