A young man from Oban has become the second contender for Apprentice of the Year to be trained up by Argyll employer, Oban Electrical Services (OES).
Sean Sutherland, 18, has just completed his first year at Reid Kerr College in Paisley and was selected by his lecturers to go through to West Scotland heats for the prestigious Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust’s award.
Sean is very proud of his achievement, “I’ve wanted to do this job since I was a wee boy ‘cos my dad did it. I didn’t get the grades at school, but WorkingRite and OES gave me this great opportunity and I love everything about the work. I was absolutely amazed [to be named Apprentice of the Year]. Really happy.”
OES hired Sean as an apprentice after he completed a 16-week WorkingRite programme with the company. WorkingRite is a youth employment charity which individually matches young people to businesses in their local community for work-based learning and mentoring. Many of WorkingRite’s trainees, like Sean, do not have the qualifications to get a job or apprenticeship right away, but 80% of those who complete the programme do achieve these outcomes.
Angus MacPherson, Managing Director of OES, is absolutely delighted that Sean has been named Reid Kerr College’s Apprentice of the Year. He is the second OES apprentice to do so, following in the footsteps of William Ward, another WorkingRite trainee, who received this award in 2012 and is still an employee of OES.
MacPherson said, “the WorkingRite programme gives us the opportunity to see a young lad or lassie’s work over a longer period of time. Lots of people are good at interview, but not so great at the practical side. WorkingRite is like a 16-week interview. I was able to identify the potential in Sean during the programme, and that’s why I took him on as an apprentice. Before WorkingRite, I wouldn’t hire anyone without a Higher in Maths and Physics, but they’ve changed the way I think about recruiting.”
Audrey MacFadyen, Sean’s WorkingRite Co-ordinator, says “Sean really deserves this recognition. He has always had a fantastic work ethic. He really made the most of the opportunity WorkingRite gave him and was determined to become an electrician right from the beginning. Sean’s a lively wee lad with a great attitude. He’s been an absolute pleasure to work with.”
The heats for the West’s Apprentice of the Year take place on 9th June.