Aberdeen City Council apprentice named as best in UK
An Aberdeen City Council apprentice has been crowned best in the UK after he won the APSE UK Mechanical & Electrical Apprentice of the Year 2017 – beating a colleague to the title.
Graeme Baird, who is time-served electrician and now works full-time with the City Council, was one of five finalists for the coveted accolade.
His colleague, Craig Paterson, who is now a time-served plumber/heating engineer also with the City Council, was also one of the finalists so unfortunately the pair were competing for the top award.
Aberdeen City Council communities, housing and infrastructure convener Councillor Yvonne Allan said: "Many congratulations to Graeme for his win, and also to Craig for being in the top five local authorities apprentices in the UK.
“Our apprentices go through a carefully planned out programme which is aimed at giving them a full experience of the job along with accredited written work so it’s fantastic that two of our former apprentices were in the final.
“It shows the hard work, effort and support that our staff give our apprentices on a daily basis helping them to bring out the best in themselves.”
Aberdeen City Council’s apprenticeship scheme is for four years and provides on-the-job training for those looking to gain skills necessary for employment.
Graeme, 28, has served most of his apprenticeship in the voids team based at Northfield Depot. Graeme is now a time served electrician and is now on a full time contract.
Graeme attended Tullos Training College where he won Best 1st Year Electrical Apprentice then Best 2nd Year Electrical Apprentice, Graeme has also won APSE Scottish Apprentice of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The 27-year-old moved to Aberdeen from Carluke as there were no apprentice opportunities nearer his home, and joined Aberdeen City Council in 2013.
Graeme said: “Undertaking an apprenticeship with Aberdeen City Council has been a fantastic opportunity and a very positive experience and one that I am extremely grateful to have been afforded.
“All the awards that have came my way has been an added bonus with the highlight being named APSE UK Mechanical & Electrical Apprentice of the Year 2017”.
Craig, 36 has served most of his apprenticeship in the gas team based at Kittybrewster, and is now a time served plumbing/heating engineer and is now on a full time contract.
Craig attended Tullos Training College where he won Best 2nd Year Plumbing Apprentice then Best 3rd Year Plumbing Apprentice, Craig also won the JFD Achievement Award in 2016 for his efforts throughout the three years Craig spent at Tullos Training. Craig was also shortlisted for the APSE UK Mechanical & Electrical Apprentice of the Year in 2016.
Craig said: “After applying for several apprenticeships, I found out that Aberdeen City Council were recruiting so I applied and to my surprise I got an interview - the Council seemed unconcerned by my age and indeed more encouraged by the fact that I had experience of working life as opposed to just having left school.
“The awards I have won during my apprenticeship have been greatly welcomed and being a finalist in the APSE UK Apprentice of the Year in both 2016 and 2017 was a great learning experience”.
Both Graeme and Craig are also entered into the APSE Scottish Apprentice of the Year 2018.
To be shortlisted, both apprentices had to submit a portfolio including a 500 word statement describing their reasons for starting this career, longer term objectives and progress, 10 pieces of work or task examples, references from managers, college lecturers, and training bodies and any certificates of achievement. Once the apprentices were shortlisted, the final part of the process was to travel down to Liverpool to be interviewed by an expert panel.