Ayrshire business in apprenticeship award finals

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A chocolate manufacturer and a hazardous waste management boss have reached the finals of Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards.

Chocolati is hoping for a win in the Micro Employer of the Year category for businesses with fewer than ten employees. The Ayr-based firm, run by managing director Linda Galli, specialises in hand-made chocolates and artisan products.

Lowmac Waste and Recycling’s Robert Hall is a finalist in the Higher Level Apprenticeship category. Robert is the Irvine firm’s Head of Hazardous Waste and Special Projects.

His background is a scientific one, but when he was asked to oversee the growth of a new division, he wanted managerial training and opted for the Modern Apprenticeship model.

A record breaking number of nominations were received from across Scotland’s industries, representing individuals and businesses from small family firms to global companies.

Organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), the Awards, taking place at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms on November 5, have been partnered by CITB, SQA, the City of Edinburgh Council and Lockheed Martin.

SDS chief executive Damien Yeates said: “The support for this year’s Awards has been fantastic.

“The range of nominations from across the length and breadth of the country, representing Scotland’s diverse economy, speaks volumes about the success of the Modern Apprenticeship programme.

“The quality of nominations has also been outstanding and I think our judges are going to have their work cut out. Companies like Chocolati and individuals like Robert are great examples of the value of investing in workforces through Modern Apprenticeships.”

Higher Level Apprentice of the Year; Robert Hall – Irvine, North Ayrshire, Robert Lapsley - Falkirk, Scott MacDonald – Dunfermline, Fife; Micro Employer; Flavours Italian Holidays - Edinburgh, Chocolati - Ayr, South Ayrshire, Zest – St Andrews, Fife.