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RI Cruden apprentices fuel Highlands renewables drive


Apprentices are pivotal to a renewable technologies business achieving its goal of turning the Highlands into Scotland’s green energy hub.  

RI Cruden’s apprenticeship programme has helped it to mould the next generation of workers and overcome the challenge of finding skilled workers in the local area. 

Since 2011, nineteen workers haveundertaken apprenticeships across plumbing, mechanical, electrical and business development at the company, based in Muir of Ord near Inverness. 

Apprentices account for a quarter of the workforce, with all directly involved in renewables projects at various stages, whether in estimating or installation teams – meaning they all contribute towards the environmental benefits achieved.  

RI Cruden Cosima Kramer Lomax 153

Cruden, the leading installer of renewable tech in the Highlands, also offers its staff incentives to have renewable technologies installed in their homes, following the example set by directors to offset their personal domestic emissions. 

Director Callum Cruden, a former apprentice at the firm, said:

A number of our apprentices have gone on to enjoy successful careers with us.  
Our first ever plumbing apprentice Greg Matheson is now our Renewable Installations Manager and he runs our apprenticeship programme.  
He’s been with us since he was 16 and is very relatable to our current apprentices. Thanks to his work our apprentice programme is a real asset to the business. 
Households remain the highest contributors to overall UK greenhouse gas emissions. Our apprentices help to reduce this daily by servicing existing heating systems to maximise product longevity, or installing new renewable energy solutions that we provide extended warranties for.

Callum said the firm has a long-standing partnership with local waste management firm Northern Recycling, helping to cut the firm’s carbon footprint while supporting the local community. It is moving into larger premises and turning the existing building into a renewables showroom in Inverness. 

He added:

“We are working with Skills Development Scotland and University of Highlands and Islands on a bespoke renewable technology course with the ambition of turning the Highlands into Scotland’s renewable energy hub.” 

RI Cruden’s efforts have led to the firm being named as a finalist at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards in the Supporting Net Zero – Employer category, sponsored by the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.  

Over 12,000 employers support Scottish Apprenticeships, which are work-based learning opportunities or jobs with industry-recognised qualifications. Designed with employers for employers, Scottish Apprenticeships are demand-led and responsive to regional skills needs.  

Winners will be revealed at the awards, organised by Skills Development Scotland and set to take place during Scottish Apprenticeship Week from 6-10 March. Find out more about the award finalists and the event by visiting