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Glasgow employers win at Scottish Apprenticeship Awards

Glasgow employers Arnold Clark, Rearo Laminates and JP Morgan Chase have been awarded for their investment in supporting their workforces at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards 2018.

The city employers were crowned at last night’s award ceremony at Perth Concert Hall (Thursday, 15 November).

The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards are organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) as a celebration of the best apprentices and apprentice employers in the country.

Arnold Clark Automotive, which employs more than 700 apprentices within a 12,000 strong UK workforce, was awarded Large Employer of the Year sponsored by SQA.

The organisation has its own dedicated training centre, GTG training. 

Arnold Clark believes strongly in apprenticeships and recognises training young people as vital to achieving the group’s business objectives. 

Recently, the firm has broadened its range of apprenticeships to include courses in retail, garage equipment engineering, security systems engineering and IT. 

Arnold Clark’s automotive assessor, James Swan, also picked up the Instructor of the Year title in recognition of supporting approximately 10,000 apprentices over the last 30 years.

Suzanne Sherry, GTG/Arnold Clark early careers manager, said: “ Receiving this award is recognition of everything we've worked towards as a business and everything we truly believe in because youth employment is a big part of the company.

“Youngsters are going to be the lifeblood of our businesses. We have an aging workforce and a gap in our skills, particularly with regards to technicians. We therefore fully support apprenticeships.”

James Swan shared the Instructor award with Charlie Murphy from Glasgow, who works as Apprentice and Skills Manager for BAE Systems Naval Ships. 

Charlie is responsible for the delivery of the modern advanced apprenticeship programmes and skills centres in Glasgow, managing a team of 13 specialists. 

As a qualified welder, assessor and internal verifier, he is responsible for the delivery of apprenticeships for about150 individuals in Glasgow. 

JP Morgan Chase won the title of Promoting Diversity Large Employer of the Year. 

The financial services firm says it has an unwavering commitment to diversity and its approach to Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship opportunities is no different. 

In addition to tackling gender diversity, there is a strong focus on autism and the business is running autism awareness training days for every manager. 

Another Glasgow firm; laminates company, Rearo, claimed the Diversity award for small/medium employers.

Rearo Laminates decided to address an ageing workforce in 2014 by the introduction of their apprenticeship programme. 

Rearo communications assistant, Paula Marshall, has also ran fortnightly sign language classes for employees within the Glasgow HQ to support an apprentice who is profoundly deaf.

Chair of Skills Development Scotland, Frank Mitchell, said: “Apprenticeships are changing people’s lives and benefiting businesses across Scotland.

“All the employers and individuals who were nominated and won awards are testament to the power of apprenticeships to provide skills for the future.”

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn said: “The growth of apprenticeships means they are becoming the lifeblood of businesses across the country. 

“The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards recognise some the country’s most talented apprentices and employers of all sizes backing work-based learning.”

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