A Peterhead company has been named Scotland’s large employer of theyear at an awards ceremony in Glasgow.
Score Europe Limited won the category for workplaces with less than 5,000 employees at the awards, delivered by Skills Development Scotland in Glasgow Science Centre on Wednesday night.
The Blue Toon firm has over 300 apprentices in its UK workforce of more than 1,000.
It operates worldwide and supplies, overhauls and tests valves and associated equipment for oil and gas sector clients.
Deputy managing director Conrad Ritchie believes that the Modern Apprenticeship programme can help address the skills shortage issue in the engineering sector.
“If we don’t create opportunities for young people to come in to the industry and train them properly, we are going to have a big problem.
“There are some employers who will bang the drum but there are some who are doing too little too late,” he said.
The company leads by example as more than half its board of directors, 65% of senior managers and 70% of supervisory staff are former apprentices.
“Our Modern Apprenticeship programme is at the core of the company.
“For over 20 years our business model has depended on it to provide us with talented, skilled and competent individuals who take Score Europe and Score Group forward globally and allow us to prosper,” said Conrad.
Initially the programme was dedicated to engineering apprentices but evolved to include electrical, administration, welding, technical sales, warehousing, IT and multimedia disciplines.
Recent developments include a bespoke training facility for apprentice machinists.
Since the start of the company’s programme more than 750 people have successfully completed their apprenticeships.
Conrad added: “We take real pride in the knowledge that our Modern Apprenticeship programme has enabled so many young men and women to pursue their dreams.”
“We are delighted to get the Award, as it is a real testament to what we do and what we have been doing for 25 years.
“We are in this for the long haul and it is great to have that commitment recognised in this way.
“To use an old Scots phrase it is what we are all about.”