Forty finalists have now made the shortlist for  the forthcoming Scottish Apprenticeship Awards 2022 – with all hoping to  follow in the illustrious footsteps of previous high-achieving winners 


FINALISTS for the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards have been revealed, with one worthy winner set to be crowned the country’s apprentice of the year. 

Winners will be announced at an online event during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which takes place from 7-11 March 2022.

To mark its 20th year, the showpiece event – co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) – will recognise its biggest-ever number of finalists, highlighting how apprenticeships work for Scotland.

Award categories recognise the success of Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprentices across Scotland, as well as the employers, learning providers and instructors who have supported apprentices to shine in what has been another challenging year.

Two new categories also spotlight apprentices and employers working hard to support Scotland’s climate change ambitions and target of net zero emissions by 2045.

The 40 finalists come from across Scotland and one will be named Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year.

Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training, Jamie Hepburn said: “As Scotland moves towards economic renewal and transition, it’s never been more important to celebrate the efforts of apprentices, their employers and supporters.

“Apprenticeships and work-based learning directly support the Young Person’s Guarantee, providing thousands of opportunities every year to help build the skills Scotland needs to support economic recovery.

“These awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the voices of apprentices and their employers from across the length and breadth of the country.”

Chair of SDS, Frank Mitchell, added: “Since the pandemic changed all our lives, we have seen extraordinary commitment from apprentices working to support their employers and Scotland’s economic recovery. 

“Throughout the pandemic employers have recognised the benefits of investing in apprenticeships to adapt and sustain their business

“Learning providers have worked hard and innovated to continue to support apprentices in training. 

“The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards is the platform to acknowledge the resilience and hard work of apprentices and shine a spotlight on all those who champion apprenticeships. 

“New categories credit the contribution apprentices, and their employers can make to support the country’s commitment to tackling climate change.”

Amongst last year’s winners was Annabel Stewart, who was named Scotland’s Foundation Apprentice of the Year for her work in scientific technologies with Charles River Laboratories.

Annabel said: “Before I started my apprenticeship, if someone had told me that it would make me interested in a career in science I wouldn’t have believed them. Now, I love the industry and I am loving the Foundation Apprenticeship. 

“Through the Foundation Apprenticeship I’ve become a lot more confident and I understand how to behave in a workplace environment.”

Stephen Madden, Head of Regulatory ADME and Discovery Sciences at Charles River Laboratories said: “Offering opportunities to Foundation Apprentices was a business decision, as we were thinking about potential talent and struggled at school level.

“Through Foundation Apprenticeships our business would gain exposure to young people and encourage them to look into a career in science.”

Many of last year’s award winners played a role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The winner of Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year was Samir Khan-Young of Thales. The Graduate Apprentice had been working nightshifts for Thales’ Manufacturing Team as they produced PPE for NHS frontline workers.

NHS Lothian worker Tamara Kamal was successful in the Modern Apprentice of the Year Level Six category having worked on the frontline throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and Kelso’s Scotmas Group won the SME Employer of the Year award for the role its apprentices played in producing disinfectant for the NHS.

Managing Director Alistair Cameron said: “We’re obviously delighted to have won the award – the strength and flexibility of our apprenticeship framework has already paid dividends over the past year.


"At the beginning of the pandemic, we lost a large percentage of our business which was in travel hygiene and other areas that were subjected to immediate shutdown. 

“We pivoted the business very quickly to expand our disinfectant manufacturing part. We redeployed staff and used the apprenticeship template with the emphasis on training and learning at its core to pivot the production very quickly.”

Winners will be announced at an online event during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which takes place from 7-11 March 2022. 

More information on the date and timing of the virtual event will be announced soon.

This year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Awards finalist shortlist is available at


‘Experience gave me the confidence that I needed’ 

PUPILS across Scotland are choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship to set them up for a big future.

A Foundation Apprenticeship gives senior phase pupils an inside view of sectors like science, engineering and health and social care. 

There are 12 subjects to choose from in areas where there’s a growing demand for a skilled workforce.

Pupils get an industry-recognised qualification and a head-start on whatever they choose to do next, whether that’s an apprenticeship job, college or university. Up to 5,000 Foundation Apprenticeships are expected to be available to pupils across Scotland this year.

Despite challenges education and schools have faced during the pandemic, Foundation Apprenticeships continued to provide opportunities for pupils to develop their own learner journeys.

Twins at Galashiels Academy, Siobhan and Lauren Call, both completed their Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services Children and Young People last year. 


Lauren saw the Foundation Apprenticeship, supported by Borders College, as an opportunity to develop a career pathway.

“I learned a lot of new skills which include development of children and young people, safeguarding and play. When I move forward to work with children and young people, I have the experience and understanding which others may not have.”

Fellow pupil Siobhan said: “I decided that I wanted to take part in the Foundation Apprenticeship because I knew that the course would allow me to progress into higher education to fulfil a career working with young people in the community.

“I feel I have learned new skills such as how to plan activities following work settings procedures. This course has allowed me to gain more experience and have a greater understanding of what it would be like working with young people.”

Both Lauren and Siobhan successfully applied to university after completing their Foundation Apprenticeships.

For Lanarkshire teenager Courtney Richardson, completing a Foundation Apprenticeship kick-started a career in teaching.


The Duncanrig Secondary pupil completed a one-year Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services Children and Young People, supported by South Lanarkshire College.
She said: “I was really keen to do the course as it gave me time in a college setting and the invaluable opportunity of a work placement.  I loved the fact that I could continue with my other important subjects at school at the same time as studying on the Foundation Apprenticeship.”

As well as attending college, Courtney undertook her placement at East Milton primary in East Kilbride and spent one half day a week in the nursery and the other half day helping in the Primary 1 class.

She said: “After completing my Foundation Apprenticeship in just one year, I felt I’d achieved so much. The college classroom and workplace experience gave me the confidence that I needed to progress with my childcare ambition.”

Courtney went on to complete her HND in Childhood Practice at South Lanarkshire College then applied for year three entry to the BA Childhood Studies course at University of the West of Scotland. She hopes to embark on her PGDE in Primary Education on completion of her BA.

Foundation Apprenticeships are supported by Skills Development Scotland and The Scottish Funding Council. Find out more about Foundation Apprenticeships at