Nominations for Edinburgh Apprenticeship Awards 2021 highlight talent of graduate apprentices

An Openreach trainer with apprentices in a pole yard. Pic: Monty RakusenAn Openreach trainer with apprentices in a pole yard. Pic: Monty Rakusen
An Openreach trainer with apprentices in a pole yard. Pic: Monty Rakusen
Despite the pandemic’s impact on young people and their employment prospects, hard-working individuals nominated for the graduate apprentice award are showcasing the importance of Edinburgh’s apprenticeships.

With nominations and entries now extended to Friday, February 19, the Edinburgh Evening News is hosting the inaugural Edinburgh Apprenticeship Awards 2021 to celebrate some of the city’s finest apprentices and their employers.

With 13 award categories in total, those such as ‘mentor of the year’ and the ‘diversity and inclusion program’ allow apprentices and individuals to nominate companies and employers helping to empower young apprentices in Edinburgh and harness their potential.

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The Edinburgh Apprenticeship Awards will also present an award for the graduate apprentice of the year – a category celebrating the talent produced by Edinburgh’s diverse graduate apprentice schemes offered by the capital’s colleges and universities.

Among those nominated for this award is Supta Das, a commercial specialist with Scottish Water, who has been credited with identifying and introducing cost-reduction initiatives across the company’s technology estate.

Having previously been named Apprentice of the Month and nominated for the Rising Star apprentice award in the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards 2018, Ms Das’s success has been linked to the possibilities that come with graduate apprenticeship schemes like those run by Heriot Watt University.

Her nomination cites her "significant progress” at Scottish Water, adding that she “keeps promoting the apprenticeship programme and inspires her colleagues through her experience and motivation”.

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The nomination also praised Ms Das’s dedication to the role, explaining that while on maternity leave “Supta managed to continue her studies required for this course without seeking any mitigation options that the university could provide her”.

"Further to this the challenge from Covid-19, with no childcare and home schooling, didn't stop Supta performing towards her goal.”

Amy Lauder is another graduate apprentice nominee who is succeeding at aerospace engineering firm Leonardo.

Studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering degree in engineering design and manufacture at Strathclyde University, Ms Lauder said she has been able to showcase her skills and talent for fundraising, organisation and engineering design.

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“I have held key roles within the onsite apprentice charity and governance groups,” she said.

"However, my biggest success came from a sell-out quiz night I organised for 100 apprentices and graduates in a head-to-head competition.

"I was able to raise £1,800 from the quiz night that was then donated to the charity Combat Stress."

Ms Lauder said that as a member of Leonardo’s apprenticeship governance team, she had also “helped implement many changes requested by apprentices, for example negotiating and gaining agreement to expand the work wear options for female apprentices”.

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Award winners will be announced at a virtual event held on March 11. The awards are being sponsored by digital network business Openreach.

To find out more and enter, visit

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