College students earn John Mather Awards

College students earn John Mather Awards

Over 100 former Ayrshire College students collected their prizes at the 16th John Mather Trust Awards, held at the Kilmarnock Campus of Ayrshire College on Thursday 5 March.

The John Mather Trust rewards Ayrshire College graduates who have learned a trade and gone into employment, an apprenticeship or set up their own business within the past year.

Those fortunate enough to be eligible for a John Mather award received a set of tools of the trade to help them in their careers.

This year the John Mather Trust Awards ceremony took place during Scottish Apprenticeship Week (2-6 March) - a campaign that celebrates the benefits that apprentices bring to businesses, individuals and the economy.

The popular event is a celebration of the students’ success and gives their family, friends and employers the opportunity to share their pride in their efforts.

This year, students from: aeronautical, engineering and renewables, horticulture, motor vehicle, trades, beauty therapy, complementary therapies, hairdressing, make-up artistry and hospitality - all received tools of the trade.

Through continued growth of the Modern and Foundation Apprenticeship programmes delivered at the college, this year we have trained more than 1000 apprentices for the first time.

Those who attended the ceremony heard from guest speaker, and former Ayrshire College apprentice, Neil Riddell. Production Manager at Taylor Wimpey who congratulated the award recipients. Neil said “I’m incredibly proud to be involved with Ayrshire College as a key partner with Taylor Wimpey. An apprenticeship is a great way to start your career. Apprentices make the difference to our business - they are the future of our business.”

Ayrshire College also introduced the very first Ayrshire College Apprentice Hall of Fame at the awards. The Hall of Fame recognises the outstanding achievement of past college apprentices who have made a notable contribution to their organisation.

The following individuals have acted as role models in their own field and have been an inspiration to current and future college students.

Graeme Watson, Quality Manager, Wallace McDowall - During Graeme’s time in Quality his work has resulted in Wallace McDowall winning a customer’s continuous improvement award for their whole supply chain.

Aidan McIntyre, Apprentice Coordinator, GE Caledonian - His positive can-do attitude gained him his new position of Apprentice Coordinator where he is responsible for mentoring GE Caledonian’s 37 apprentices and is running the 2020 recruitment drive.

Blair Larmour, Instrument Technician, UPM Caledonian Paper - On completion of his apprenticeship, Blair was given additional responsibility to solely look after critical automation equipment within certain areas of the production process.

Leoni Kippen, Junior Stylist, Wicked Salon - Leoni goes from strength to strength in the salon and has quickly become one of the most sought after hairdressers in the area.

John Mather set up the Trust in 1996 to help young people in the West of Scotland get started in their trade. Since then, over a thousand students at Ayrshire College have benefitted from the generosity of the Trust.

Carol Turnbull, Principal of Ayrshire College, said “This event is an inspiring occasion as it lets us celebrate the skills of our talented students with their families, friends and the employers they now work for. We would like to thank the John Mather Trust for giving so generously to our students once again.”

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