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28 November 2022

Recognising excellence and innovation in manufacturing

Employee-owned North Berwick company receives First Minister’s Award for Manufacturing Leadership.

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The national winner of an award celebrating excellence and innovation in Scotland’s manufacturing sector has been selected.

The First Minister’s Award for Manufacturing Leadership celebrates innovative manufacturing companies which demonstrate productivity and make a positive contribution to staff wellbeing, the environment and the community.

Jerba Campervans Ltd, a fully employee-owned company based in North Berwick, founded by husband and wife team Simon and Cath Poole, received the award at Bute House.

The company specialises in converting and customising Volkswagen Transporter vans.

The judges and the First Minister felt it best exemplified the purpose of the award, particularly its employee owned status to foster a participative and inclusive work culture.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am very pleased to announce Jerba Campervans has won the First Minister’s Award for Manufacturing Leadership.

“All of the applications received for the award were of a very high standard. However, with their responsive employee driven approach, Jerba Campervans best exemplified the ethos of the award. In demonstrating how a productive and growing company can at the same time offer real benefits to staff, community and the environment, they clearly demonstrated the principle that business for good is good for business.

“I would also like to thank the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) for working with apprentices and graduates to design and manufacture the award trophy. Through the creative judging process, we were able to recognise and celebrate some of the initiatives put in place to support the next generation of manufacturers. The future of manufacturing is in good hands.”

Simon Poole, said: “It is a great privilege for Jerba Campervans to have been recognised in such a high-profile way. To be rewarded for the work we are doing is very humbling and this achievement marks a really fantastic opportunity for both the company and employee ownership as a whole."

The award, made from recycled materials and formed using cutting-edge manufacturing techniques, was designed by Samir Khan-Young, former Graduate Apprentice of the Year and overall Scottish Apprentice of the Year for 2021.

Samir, 27, a manufacturing engineer at aerospace and defence firm Thales in Glasgow, based his design scheme on a silhouette of Scotland.

His idea was taken forward to be manufactured by the National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland (NMIS), and in honour of his achievement he was invited to the reception at Bute House.