A modern apprentice from Argyll and Bute Council has won the coveted Scottish Training Federation (STF) Apprentice of the Year Award.
Steven Simpson from Dunoon and Chris Cupples from Lochgilphead were two of only three apprentices shortlisted for the award, with Steven going on to be crowed the winner at a prestigious awards ceremony last week. Steven works with the council’s education learning technologies team based in Argyll House, Dunoon, whilst Chris is an HGV mechanic.
Talking about his achievement, Steven said: “I am very pleased and proud of myself for gaining this award. The Modern Apprenticeship has helped me personally and has allowed me to gain a range of valuable work experience and provided numinous learning opportunities.
“I left school at 16 without many qualifications, however this opportunity has helped me find an area of work that I very much enjoy.
“This apprenticeship has helped me gain valuable qualifications that may have been difficult to otherwise achieve. I am proud to have achieved an HNC in IT and Telecommunications and I am now working towards and determined to gain an HND.”
At a meeting of Argyll and Bute Council on Thursday, Provost Len Scoullar congratulated both boys.
He said: “Steven has a passion and natural ability for using technology and helping children to use computers and this helped him to achieve success in his application to become a Modern Apprentice within Education. He has worked very hard, applying himself terrifically to his role in the Learning Technologies team.
“Steven has been a valuable addition to the Learning Technologies team and I am sure he will have a very successful career in the IT industry. Well done also to Gary Clark, a web developer with the council, who has supported Stephen through his apprenticeship.
“This is a very prestigious award. I am very proud of Steven and our other nominee, Chris Cupples, a recently qualified HGV mechanic in our fleet team. Chris approaches his work with a high degree of professionalism, humour and enthusiasm, and is a very positive role model for the other apprentices as well as a highly valued member of the team.”
Mr Scoullar continued: “The council’s modern apprenticeship scheme has been a great success and is a wonderful example of us growing our own right here in Argyll and Bute.
“We are committed to ensuring that young people have the best possible start and that education, skills and training maximise opportunities for all. Our apprenticeship scheme does exactly that. It is wonderful that we are able to help young people across Argyll and Bute find meaningful and rewarding roles with the council.
“I would like to officially congratulate Chris and Steven, wish them the very best of luck in the future and hope they have a long and happy career working with Argyll and Bute Council.”