Dales win top apprentice award

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A Peterhead-based firm was named as the country’s top medium-sized employer at Skills Development Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards last night.

Judges heard how Dales Engineering Services Limited has been involved in the Modern Apprenticeship programme for 15 years.

They recognised the oil and gas industry service firm’s commitment to helping “home-grown” talent develop by employing local young people.

Operations director Kevin Thomson said: “Modern Apprenticeships are a key part of our workforce planning and development. We take three or four apprentices a year across our fabrication and engineering department and it is part of our succession planning.”

Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment combined with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level. Apprentices work alongside experienced staff to gain job specific skills as well as training, perhaps one day a week with local providers such as colleges.

As Dales was announced as winner in the medium employers category - for companies with workforces of up to 250 employees - Kevin Thomson said: “Modern Apprentice recruitment is crucial to business survival. We give our apprentices a good grounding – we currently have 12 from first year to fourth year. All carry out their first year training at Banff and Buchan College full-time. What we want is to have a well-trained, well-prepared tradesman at the end of their apprenticeship.”