Edinburgh apprentice wins national prize

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An Edinburgh apprentice who works with a global aerospace firm has scooped a national award.

Lisa Daniel was named Level 4 Apprentice of the Year at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

The 25-year-old technical apprentice – who works for global aerospace, defence and security company Leonardo – said: “Winning this award means so much to me.

“I’m proud of how far I have come in my apprenticeship. It is really rewarding that the work I’ve put in has been recognised in this way.

“My employers have been really supportive too and I would say to anyone to take the opportunity of apprenticeship.”

The former St David’s High in Dalkeith pupil is the first point of contact for quality management in a technically challenging avionics development programme.

Lisa’s employer Leonardo was a finalist in the Large Employer category of the Awards.

Meanwhile Musselburgh-based fish processing firm JK Thomson won the SME Employer category.

Over the last few years the firm has invested heavily in its East Lothian premises, extending and developing to what is now one of the largest and most modern seafood processing plants in the country.

It has over 100 production staff and says it puts “great emphasis on training and development” of staff.

The company’s Quality Assurance Manager Enoch Robinson said winning the award was very important to the business and apprenticeships have givens its workforce something to focus on and aim for.

He believes apprenticeships have contributed to employees having a new take on the business as well as “greater enthusiasm and a willingness to take on new ideas”.

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said: “An apprenticeship is a life-changing opportunity – providing the chance, not only to work and earn, but also to achieve an industry recognised qualification to support future career ambitions.

“My warmest congratulations to all the worthy winners, demonstrating the fantastic work that both apprentices and their employers do, and particularly well done to Lisa and JK Thomson. I look forward to following their careers with great interest in the future.”

SDS chief executive Damien Yeates said: “I am delighted Lisa and JK Thomson’s valuable contribution have been recognised with these awards. Their efforts show how work-based learning, enthusiastic apprentices and committed employers are changing Scotland’s skills landscape and creating our future workforces.”