Friday, 30 January 2015
Local apprentice leads APSE awards charge
South Ayrshire Council employee Lee Smith, a second year apprentice electrician, has been announced as a finalist in the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Scotland Building and Housing Apprentice of the Year 2015 awards.
[Pictured: Lee Smith carrying out work in County Buildings, Ayr.]
APSE is a not-for-profit organisation working with over 250 local authorities throughout the UK. Their awards recognise the achievements of Scotland’s apprentices, and their aptitude and commitment to learning a range of skills within the housing and building sector.
Councillor Robin Reid, Resource and Performance Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “Lee is an apprentice who is committed to learning his trade and delivering high quality services to people across South Ayrshire.
“Our Council is keen to invest in our young people by offering apprenticeships which give them the opportunity to learn practical skills, while undertaking courses at college.
"To make it to the finals of the APSE awards is a great achievement. I am positive that Lee will be an inspiration to other apprentices and those who are thinking about becoming an apprentice.”
The Council currently has 14 craft apprentices who are studying to be plasterers, slaters, plumbers, joiners, electricians, bricklayers and painter and decorators.
Lee was put forward for the awards because of his outstanding performance. He has exceeded expectations at college, impressed clients, work colleagues and management with his dedication and enthusiasm.
On hearing the news that he had been selected as a finalist in the awards Lee, aged 19, said: “I was very humbled when I was nominated for the APSE Awards, and now that I have reached the finals I am really pleased. I am really enjoying my apprenticeship and working hard to improve my skills, and it seems that hard work has really paid off. I have had a lot of support from the team at South Ayrshire Council helping me to compete for this prestigious award as APSE Apprentice of the year, where I will be up against modern apprentices from all over Scotland.”
Lee joined the Council as an apprentice electrician in September 2013. During his first year as an apprentice he has already acquired practical skills as an electrician and has developed his communication and customer service skills. Lee carries out a varied range of tasks in Council buildings and properties occupied by Council tenants. Learning to work with other craft operatives, has been a crucial part of his development and he attends Ayr College for further training and development. A dedicated employee he is keen to develop his career in future years.
Commenting on the awards APSE chief executive Paul O’Brien said: “These awards are about celebrating Scotland’s many talented apprentices and the local authorities dedicated to developing their skills and offering rewarding careers for young people in their local communities. The apprenticeship schemes help to support the delivery of housing and building maintenance and repairs services within Scotland and are a vital part of local government frontline public services.”
Winners in each category will be decided following an interview of all shortlisted apprentices by a panel of independent judges. The awards ceremony will be held following APSE Scotland’s annual ‘Building, Housing and Renewables’ seminar at Dunblane Hydro on Thursday 12 February 2015.
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.