Online apprentice celebrations and award accolades

March 4, 2021

North East Scotland College held an online celebration during Scottish Apprenticeship Week for over 90 apprentices who recently completed their modern apprenticeship programmes over the last year.

Apprentices together with family, friends, employers, lecturers and assessors attended the online presentation and awards ceremony to formally recognise the achievement of the class of 2020/21 and find out the winners of the coveted NESCol Apprentice of the Year awards.

Principal Neil Cowie in his welcome said: “A Modern Apprenticeship is a challenging journey and rightly so – however this past year has made it considerably harder. We are very thankful to you for your efforts in completing this important qualification despite the challenges and to your employers for making it possible.

“The North East is recognised as a great source for enterprising, industrious and innovative talent and there’s no doubt in my mind that amongst you all, this reputation is in safe hands. The region is well placed for economic recovery.”

Trainees from 17 different apprenticeship programmes successfully completed their qualification in 2021 despite the impact of the ongoing pandemic.

Director of Business Development Duncan Abernethy said: “A modern apprenticeship is a three-way partnership between the apprentice, employer and the College. We are grateful for the flexibility from all involved and the willingness to embrace new practices so that trainees have been able to continue and complete this vocational qualification.”

He explains: “The changes made include replacing assessor observation with employer expert witness testimony and providing out of hours assessor contact and support. Workplaces have allowed IT access to enable apprentices to complete units for their portfolio and technology has been well and truly harnessed. So much so that it is shaping future practices as the College moves towards expanding our e-portfolio model.”

Now in its third year NESCol’s Apprentice of The Year awards were announced featuring ten finalists across four award categories. The awards, designed to acknowledge apprentices who have demonstrated excellence in their learning journey, featured shortlisted finalists from a pool of assessor nominations.

The results for the awards are as follows:
Apprentice of the Year – Agency Partner
Amy McDonald, Electrical Installation (SECTT), Aberdeenshire Council
Runner Up
Sean Robertson, Joinery (CITB), Morrison Construction

Apprentice of the Year – Business
Conor Dickie, Warehousing, Storage and Distribution, Langstane Press
Runner Up
Meghan Bruce, Logistics Operations, Caledonian Logistics
Rebekka McLaughlin, Logistics Operations, Oleochem Project Management

Apprentice of the Year – Engineering
Lisa Shaw, Mechanical Manufacture Engineering, Grampian Health Board
Runner Up
Lee Inglis, Vehicle Maintenance and Repair, Deveron Coaches
Greig Johnston, Mechanical Manufacture Engineering, Sulzer Wood

Apprentice of the Year – Service
Madison Gillan, Hairdressing, Smoke & Mirrors
Runner Up
Oliwia Lewicka, Hairdressing, Blueberry Moon

NESCol remains one of the largest training providers for modern apprentices in the region with close to 400 active programmes currently across Engineering, Automotive, Care, Business and Administration, Hairdressing, Management, Freight Logistics and Warehousing.