Our apprentices have scooped accolades at the Edinburgh Evening News Apprenticeship Awards 2021 during its virtual ceremony hosted by Forth One Presenter, Arlene Stewart.

Three apprentices were named winners while two were ‘highly commended’ as part of the inaugural awards which recognise and reward both apprentices and employers that are excelling across Edinburgh.

Connor Burt, Modern Apprentice in Facilities Management was named Modern Apprentice of the Year, while Dorota Wojtkiewicz, Modern Apprentice in Health and Social Care was the winner of the Health and Public Service Modern Apprentice of the Year award. Erin McKenzie, Modern Apprentice in Childcare and Connor Burt were also highly commended in this category. Jessica Morris, Graduate Apprentice in Building Standards scooped the Graduate Apprentice of the Year, with Daniel O’Hara, another Graduate Apprentice in Building Standards also making the shortlist for this award.

Connor Burt was nominated in recognition of the journey he has been on and what he’s achieved. From starting with the Council through the Edinburgh Project SEARCH programme he impressed the Facilities Management team so much that they worked to create a Modern Apprenticeship within the team for him. Since then the team has been blown away by his great nature and hard work on the job, while seeing his confidence grow and witnessing his dedication to his qualification. Connor wants employers to “give people like me a chance, we may surprise you”.

Dorota Wojtkiewicz completed her Social Services and Healthcare Modern Apprenticeship as part of the Homecare team in the South West locality, part of the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership. During her apprenticeship she worked through the pandemic and remained professional and caring throughout. She used her initiative avoiding public transport to protect her vulnerable service users and adapted to change, ensuring she kept up to date with the latest PPE and infection control guidance on a daily basis. Dorota is a great example of a young person that can thrive in the most difficult of times to fulfil a role in the home care sector.

Jessica Morris joined the Building Standards team having had no previous experience in the construction industry and has worked tirelessly to understand what the job entails and standards that must be met from practical experience, literature and her mentors across the team. To this end, her hard work has paid off and she is considered one of the future stars of the Building Standards profession by her colleagues. Jessica, now in her third year of her third year studying towards a BSc (Hons) in Construction and the Built Environment, is a trusted member of the department and a highly valued member supporting many major projects. The City of Edinburgh Council employ, as part of Edinburgh Guarantee, Modern Apprentices, Graduate Apprentices and support Foundation Apprenticeships in schools. Apprentices work across the council in occupations such as childcare, health and social care, facilities, hospitality, business administration, procurement, building services, surveying and parks and greenspace, undertaking a recognised industry specific qualification and making a significant contribution to the workplace as well as the development of our workforce.

Councillor Eleanor Bird, the City of Edinburgh Council’s young people’s champion, said:

“Congratulations to these apprentices and all the young people that were part of the awards today. Their achievements demonstrate just how valuable modern apprenticeships are as a first career

step. Through this qualification, apprentices are empowered to take charge of their own development by managing the dual demands of paid work and on-the-job training. This experience will offer them the life skills necessary for the ever changing world of work.

“Through programmes like Edinburgh Project SEARCH and the Edinburgh Guarantee, we can ensure that everyone, no matter their age or background, has the opportunity to follow their chosen career path.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about Apprenticeships in the Council or Edinburgh Project SEARCH please email apprenticeships@edinburgh.gov.uk or project.search@edinburgh.gov.uk. We look forward to hearing from you