FVC linked winners shine at Scottish Apprenticeships Awards 2020

FVC linked winners shine at Scottish Apprenticeships Awards 2020
Cameron MacDonald

Success shined on Forth Valley College linked finalists at Skills Development Scotland’s Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, which was broadcast online on Thursday 4 March.

Diageo electrical engineer Cameron MacDonald (21), from Bathgate, West Lothian – a former FVC Electrical Engineer Modern Apprentice - won Scotland's Apprentice Network's Apprentice Ambassador of the Year gong for his efforts to promote apprenticeships at schools and events across the country. 

The was also success for Kelso’s Scotmas Group - who have 12 MAs currently being trained through FVC – as they picked up the SME Employer of the Year award, (sponsored by SQA), for the role its apprentices played in producing disinfectant for the NHS. 

The Apprentice Ambassador of the Year award is for former apprentices who have made exceptional achievements since their completion and who continue to champion apprenticeships.

Cameron’s passion for electrics started at childhood when he used to repair toy cars. Having completed a Modern Apprenticeship at FVC, the 21 year old took an Engineering – Electrical Design and Manufacture Graduate Apprenticeship with Diageo through Heriot Watt University. He has gone above and beyond to volunteer his time to promote apprenticeships at schools and events, even attending a reception at the Scottish Parliament. 

Cameron, said: “I am delighted and ecstatic to have won this award. It is not something you go out looking for, but when you get recognised it is appreciated.

“Forth Valley College was my favourite time during my apprenticeship. It is an amazing place to learn and really supportive. Right from the start going through my NC and NQ qualifications, the great lecturers help you progress and go on to complete the HNC.

“In the workplace it was the same and my Work Based Assessor Jim Muir, was a great mentor to me and gave me the push I needed to complete my MA and the confidence to go back to my employers Diageo and see what else I could do, ending up on the Graduate Apprenticeship course at Heriot-Watt University.

“I owe a lot of what I am doing now to Jim and Forth Valley College.”

Jim Muir Work Based Assessor in the College’s Commercial and Training Delivery Department, said: “I am very proud of Cameron and all he has achieved since completing his MA, but not surprised. He comes from a good engineering family background and despite being a quiet and reserved lad, he was always willing to learn and take things in. I remember he was always very good at coming up with good ideas in an engineering environment, several of which have been taken on by his workplaces. I am delighted for him.”

Leading chlorine dioxide specialist Scotmas Group – and it’s Managing Director Alistair Cameron - believes its apprenticeship model has helped its business adapt to change when facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Faced with huge restrictions, the Kelso-based employer managed to shift the business from their traditional tasks to the increased manufacture of disinfectant for the NHS, something Alistair admits has underlined the value of their apprenticeship programme.  

Chair of Skills Development Scotland, Frank Mitchell said: "Businesses backing talent through apprenticeships will play a crucial role in supporting Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic. 

"The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards show the value apprentices add to employers and the economy. In the most challenging of years, our fantastic winners and finalists show that apprenticeships provide the skills that employers and Scotland need for the future.”

The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards recognise the resilience and hard work of Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprentices in a year like no other. They shine a spotlight on those employers, providers and individuals who champion apprenticeships.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Congratulations to all the winners. Apprenticeships will play a major part in our economic recovery.

“I offer my heartfelt thanks to all our apprentices, and the businesses supporting them. Your continuous hard work and commitment during this incredibly challenging time is appreciated by everyone. "