A GLASGOW apprentice engineer has been announced as Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year after working night shifts to produce PPE for the NHS.
Samir Khan-Young, 25, has been given the top spot at this years awards and also won Graduate Apprentice of the Year.
Mr Khan-Young started his Engineering: Design and Manufacture Graduate Apprenticeship at Thales in 2017 believes his greatest achievement to date has been working nightshifts for Thales’ Manufacturing Team as they produced PPE for NHS frontline workers.
Other winners from various prizes were announced at the awards ceremony which took place earlier this week on Thursday and was Delivered by Skills Development Scotland
Mr Khan Young said: “To be named as the winner all came as a bit of a shock. It’s lovely that my colleagues at Thales thought highly enough of me to nominate me in the first place.
“I wasn’t even expecting to become a finalist – to win the Graduate Apprentice of the Year category and become Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year has been a massive surprise.
“It was great to put my skills to good use during lockdown as part of the nightshift team who were making PPE for NHS staff. It was a rewarding experience.”
Having previously completed a Modern Apprenticeship at Govan-based Thales, Mr Khan-Young was aware that a Graduate Apprenticeship was the natural progression.
Samir, who also plays for Shettleston Football Club, said: “I knew that a Graduate Apprenticeship was the perfect next step for me to progress after my Modern Apprenticeship.
“My award is a direct reflection of the support and encouragement my colleagues have given me, which has allowed me to grow professionally.”
Other winners included: Annabel Stewart winner of Foundation Apprentice of the Year prize, Ciara Phillips, Modern Apprentice of the Year – Level 5 award, Tamara Kamal Modern Apprentice of the Year Level 6 category, Cameron MacDonald won the Apprentice Ambassador of the Year.
The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards recognised the resilience and hard work of Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprentices after a tough year.
The awards shone a spotlight on those employers, providers and individuals who champion apprenticeships.
Chair of Skills Development Scotland, Frank Mitchell said: “Businesses backing talent through apprenticeships will play a crucial role in supporting Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic.
“The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards show the value apprentices add to employers and the economy.
“In the most challenging of years, our fantastic winners and finalists show that apprenticeships provide the skills that employers and Scotland need for the future.”
Employers and apprenticeship instructors were also rewarded for their efforts: Marie Brennan was crowned as Apprentice Instructor of the Year, Cameron MacDonald won the Apprentice Ambassador of the Year.
Balfour Beatty was successful in the Large Employer of the Year category, Kelso’s Scotmas Group won the SME Employer of the Year award, Harper MacLeod won the Large Employer of the Year – Promoting Diversity category.
The SME Employer of the Year – Promoting Diversity prize was awarded to Zen Consultants, Livingston’s Openreach training school was presented with the Innovation in Learning Provision Award for the adaptions it made to Modern Apprentices.
Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Congratulations to all the winners. Apprenticeships will play a major part in our economic recovery.
“I offer my heartfelt thanks to all our apprentices, and the businesses supporting them. Your continuous hard work and commitment during this incredibly challenging time is appreciated by everyone.
“Samir’s confidence and capability has grown throughout his Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship, putting the skills and knowledge gained to good use by helping others succeed.
“I’d also like to personally commend Samir for his critical role in our covid-19 response. He took significant responsibility to produce PPE to protect our frontline NHS workers.
“This award is a fantastic achievement and Samir should be thoroughly proud of himself. We are right behind him and will continue to do everything we can to support our apprentices and young people.”