Apprentice celebrations for North East Scotland College

March 11, 2022

The arrival of Scottish Apprenticeship Week heralds celebrations for North East Scotland College’s recently qualified Modern Apprentices.

Students who successfully completed their Modern Apprenticeship qualification over the last 12 months were formally recognised for their achievements at the annual Modern Apprenticeship Awards, held virtually on Thursday (10 March). The results of the NESCol Apprentice of the Year awards were also announced.

The ceremony can be viewed here.

The awards ceremony, sponsored by Gray & Adams, celebrates the achievements of over 130 apprentices who are pursuing careers in business and management; childcare; construction; engineering; health and social care; hairdressing, freight logistics, motor vehicle and warehousing.

Neil Cowie Principal said: “It can take up to four years to achieve this vocational qualification so it is important to acknowledge the tremendous effort and achievement of apprentices and recognise the support from employers, mentors, friends and family and the NESCol curriculum and support teams.

“The benefits of this qualification are extensive both for the individual and for the region. At NESCol we are driven by our role in realising the ambitions of both the Regional Economic Strategy and Regional Skills Strategy, shaping a workforce equipped to meet the challenges and embrace the opportunities for the North East.

“Every Modern Apprentice has a crucial part to play in a bright and vibrant future for the region. My thanks to all involved and in particular to Gray and Adams, our awards sponsor.”

Former apprentice Izaac Morrison, a Draughtsman at Gray & Adams, shared his own apprenticeship journey with guests and said: “Learning from experience was important to me which is why I chose the apprenticeship route. I’m 21 now and fully qualified and if I want to further my studies then I can. In fact I’m now back at NESCol studying for my HNC.”

NESCol remains one of the largest training providers for modern apprentices in the region with close to 400 apprentices currently on a training programme. Many of the apprenticeship programmes are fully funded and so ideal for large and small businesses alike.

Ian Runcie, Employer Engagement Manager said: “We are now witnessing signs of recovery with more employers recruiting apprentices and signing up to this programme.

“During the pandemic employers understandably appeared to be holding off, but I am happy to say that this is no longer the case and numbers for the year ahead are looking very encouraging. We would encourage companies to get in touch to reserve places for new apprentices as soon as possible.

“Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers. We have a sizeable proportion of our places allocated to those returning to education aged 25 and over. It is great to see a real mix of ages in those shortlisted as finalists for the Apprentice of the Year awards.”

17 finalists were shortlisted by assessors for the NESCol’s Apprentice of The Year awards and the Ian Corney Memorial award.

The results for the awards are as follows:

Agency Partner Apprentice of the Year
Winner –
Katie Cruickshank, Joinery (CITB), Scotia Homes
Highly Commended -Harry Webster, Electrical Installation (SECTT), Andy Davidson Electrical

Business Apprentice of the Year
Winner – Leah Innes, Business and Administration, Motive Offshore Group
Highly Commended -Stephen Raeburn, Logistics Operations, ASCO

Engineering Apprentice of the Year
Winner – Darren Ritchie, Electrical Maintenance Engineering, Denholm Seafoods
Highly Commended – Aaron Barbour, Mechanical Maintenance, Halliburton
Highly Commended – Donna Mitchell, Electrical Maintenance Engineering, Aquatic Engineering and Construction

Service Apprentice of the Year
Winner – Katie Davidson, Hairdressing, Odyssee
Highly Commended -Iona Timmins, Hairdressing, Self-employed

Ian Corney Mechanical Engineering Award*
Winner – Cameron Pittendrigh, Sulzer
Highly Commended -Callum Drake, Fabmach
Highly Commended- Richard Morrison, Halliburton

*open to current apprentices at Fraserburgh Campus