Aberdeen teenager crowned Scotland’s top Foundation Apprentice

Jennifer Emmanuel, a former St Machar Academy pupil, scooped the Foundation Apprentice of the Year prize at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, which were held at P&J Live on Friday 8 March – the first time the event has been held ‘live’ since the pandemic.

The awards, run by Skills Development Scotland, celebrate excellence in apprenticeships at Foundation, Modern, and Graduate level, and businesses which promote and support apprenticeship opportunities, recognising the value of the young workforce.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Christian Allard attended the Awards ceremony. He said: “The young talent in the room, their inspiring stories, and the support of employers was incredible.  Our young people are the workforce of the future, and it is essential that we collectively nurture and support them as they progress into their future careers.

“Apprenticeships at all levels are a fantastic route into employment, enabling people to earn a wage while learning and gaining qualifications. Aberdeen City Council is committed to supporting our young people and other city residents into good quality employment.”

Seventeen-year-old Jenni knew she really wanted a career in childcare after choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services: Children and Young People as a subject in her final school year – and she hasn’t looked back.

Foundation Apprenticeships provide school pupils with the skills employers need, offering industry insight to gain a work-based learning qualification at the same level as a Higher.

Jenni said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to win the award and to know that my work has been recognised – it’s such a good feeling. My apprenticeship was absolutely amazing, and I wish I could do it all over again.”

Thanks to her Foundation Apprenticeship Jenni has landed her dream job in childcare, working as an Early Years Assistant at Bright Horizons Treehouse Nursery, in Aberdeen, and now plans to start a Modern Apprenticeship.

Councillor Allard added: “We were delighted to welcome the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards to Aberdeen for the first time. With the energy transition as a key theme our regional partners took the opportunity to showcase some of the innovative work being carried out across the region to cement Aberdeen’s position as Europe’s energy capital.

“Our officers were there to not only celebrate the successes of our young people, but also to promote the opportunities for businesses and other partners to become part of the ABZ Pipeline, which will develop a strategic programme of employer engagements with schools to bring the curriculum to life and help our young people plan their future careers.”

Youth employment, inclusive recruitment, and a just energy transition are all key themes in the Regional Economic Strategy and draft Skills Action Plan.

The Foundation Apprenticeship category was sponsored by BAE Systems.

Peterhead-based Score Group took home the Large Employer of the Year trophy.

Aberdeen City Council | News