Fife's Rising Stars
2022 Rising Stars Dinner Keynote Speakers
George Sinclair, 24, a former pupil of Auchmuty High, and the current Operations Director at Nimbus Beds, started his company when he was just 15.
George's passion for the world of sleep is the core of the business. As demand for mattresses and George's knowledge on quality sleep grew. It became increasingly difficult to match customers to their perfect bed and mattress. Taking things into his own hands, George developed his own range of quality bespoke mattresses, and 'Nimbus Beds' was officially born.
Looking to the future, George plans to continue investing in his premises, expanding the range of products, while at the same time embracing technology to help customers purchase the right bed.
Louis, 22, is the Growth and Operations Director at Simplypay, a Dunfermline based independent sales organisation in the merchant services industry, specialising in card payment solutions for small businesses.
Since the inception, Louis has taken the business from strength to strength, helping over 2,500 small businesses save money and time on their card payments whilst improving customer engagement and service levels. Today, Simplypay works with several of the world’s leading banks, with the shared goal of making the payment experience an enjoyable one for all.
Louis' main driver for success is growing a sustainable business which can support him, his family, and his team for many years to come.
2022 Rising Stars Dinner Comperes
I am currently studying Advanced higher mathematics, computing science, music, and physics for my sixth year at Madras College and I intend to attend university.
I am a very big fan of both playing and listening to a variety of styles of music, predominantly jazz styles. I play the piano and am the lead drummer for the Madras College Pipe Band.
I also have a keen interest in reading and video games.
I’m Sam and I am 17 years old and in my sixth year at Woodmill High School where I currently study Advanced Higher Physics, Maths and Drama as well as taking an NPA in STEM Leadership. I am fascinated by Physics and plan on studying it at university.
I am active in musical theatre companies outside of school, I am currently in rehearsals for three shows with various companies. I am excited for the opportunity to be compere for Rising Stars and I look forward to celebrating the achievements of Fife’s youth.
Harland & Wolff
"We are nominating Neil for this award based on his impact and growth within such a short space of time. Neil joined us at Harland & Wolff (Methil) in August 2021 as a CAD apprentice at our on-site drawing office. He was also part of our first intake of apprentices. During the interview process, we could see that Neil was a talented and driven individual, determined to succeed. We have been extremely impressed by how quickly Neil has adapted to life at Harland & Wolff, overcoming challenges and becoming part of our team. Neil began his Harland & Wolff apprenticeship by being tasked with preparing some technical drawings for a current fabrication project. The preparation of these drawings requires great accuracy, honed skills in mathematics and engineering as well as strong attention to detail. Being able to turn a client issued design drawing into one more easily understood and followed on the workshop floor without delay to production, is a key skill for any draughtsman. Neil quickly rose to the challenge, also preparing a number of crane lifting and rigging drawings for steel fabricated components. These components are designed to be lifted, managed and manhandled into a safe position for welding. During this process, Neil has come out of his shell, built relationships and worked on his communication skills. Most recently Neil was tasked with completing a series of almost 20 drawings associated with the general arrangement of foundation supports for large jacket frames. This is a considerable task that Neil completed with grit, determination and will. The drawings produced by Neil have been adopted for project use and have been issued to all departments within Harland & Wolff, including the construction team. In addition, Neil has prepared workshop sketches in liaison with the workshop team which have included the fabrication and rigging supervisors. This has required consistent and continued dialogue with all involved. We feel this is a huge achievement for a first-year apprentice and that Neil should be very proud of his efforts. TESTIMONIALS “To see Neil flourish and develop daily is truly humbling. His drive and determination in what is a fast-paced environment is a life lesson for us all. I am very proud to have Neil represent Harland & Wolff (Methil) with both professionalism and diligence. We look forward to playing a key role in his future development.” - Matt Smith, General Manager at Harland & Wolff (Methil) “Getting to know Neil and continually seeing his progress both academically and on-site is inspirational. With his attitude and ability shining through, it is easy to see why he is making such an impact. I’m excited to witness both his future and impact on the industry.” – Kelly O’Rourke, Group Director of Human Resources “Neil is a pleasure to know and has a great and honest perspective. He is fun to be around and is well-liked by his peers. He works hard, is dedicated to the task and is cheerful in the process. He is a valued member of the team.” - Rory Glen, Engineering Manager at Harland & Wolff (Methil) ABOUT NEIL Neil first became interested in engineering after leaving school but wasn’t sure which route to follow. After successfully completing National Certificates in both engineering practice and mechanical engineering, his pathway moved into CAD after a suggestion from his support tutor in college. Neil then went on to study and gain both his HNC at Fife College and HND at Motherwell College in Computer Aided Draughting and Design. As we came out of the pandemic, Neil began searching for an opportunity to learn on the job and receive dedicated one-to-one mentoring. After discovering the Harland & Wolff Apprenticeship Scheme, Neil applied and successfully joined the team in August 2021 as a CAD apprentice at our on-site drawing office. Neil is a keen student who excels at putting theory into practice as well as continually building relationships, not only in the drawing office but across the site as a whole. Immersing himself in the business has helped him set his ambition to forge a long career at Harland & Wolff and he is already staking his claim on future positions! Neil can already see how he will support apprentices of the future, sharing his experiences, learning points and energy."
Dunnikier Park Golf Club
"Aiden Mooney joined us in June 2021 as a 16-year-old trainee chef. Aiden joined us during Covid, and he has become an important part of our team. Aiden's positive attitude and outlook to life makes him very popular with our members. He has just started at college and enjoying mixing learning at Fife College with working in the golf club. Aiden has had to grow his skills very quickly as he was dropped in the deep end when our head chef suffered a serious brain injury earlier in the year. Such has been Aiden's progress that he now has his own evening on a Thursday called "Aiden's kitchen". Aiden develops his own unique weekly menu and preps and cooks on his own and the members hugely support "Aiden's Kitchen" this has become a bit of a cult weekly event at DPGC. The last year has not been easy in the hospitality industry but growing our first ever trainee has given everyone in the golf club a big boost."
Fife Chamber of Commerce
"Dominika Cichal, Marketing & Communications Executive at Fife Chamber. Despite only joining Fife Chamber a few months ago, she has already made a huge impact on the organisation. She is refreshing and revamping all our comms platforms, taking them to levels of professionalism we haven't seen before. She is a really hard worker and is not afraid to take on new tasks. She contributes to all the teams' discussions and planning and is always looking to explore new ways to make her performance better and improve the services that the chamber offers. We're proud of her and Fife should be as well."
"Fife Council Building Services are delighted to nominate our 3rd Year Apprentice Plumber Calum Harrison as a Rising Star. Over the past 3 years Calum’s commitment to his apprenticeship and Building Services has been excellent, maintaining 100% attendance at work and college. Calum was placed within the new build section in his 2nd year, working onsite constructing new non-domestic business units. He has gained experience on district heating systems, fitting heating panels, copper pipe work, waste pipes, steel pipe work and installing new water services to the new buildings. Calum continues to complete a daily work diary evidencing his skills and knowledge. Our plumbing programme is designed to ensure that he will continue to gain experience in both domestic and non-domestic properties including day to day maintenance, Heating Services, Gas Servicing and Heating installations. Calum has established himself within the plumbing section, showing great potential and aptitude in every area he has been placed in. In his 3rd year Calum has worked in the Gas Section since Nov 2021 gaining experience in gas servicing and repairs. He has spent time fault finding and repairing central heating systems to undertake The Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS) Gas Exam which he has now achieved. The feedback from his journeyperson states that he is impressed with his attitude and ability. Having already completed a degree at Abertay University, Calum always displays a maturity to his learning and quickly adapted to the new online learning style required for his college course. Calum has recently won the 3rd year apprentice category and was the overall winner of our own internal awards 2022. This added to previous successes being winner of his 1st year category and runner up in his 2nd year. He was also recently successful at the Scottish APSE Awards where he won his category Overall Apprentice of the Year 2022. His portfolio continues to be presented at an exceptional standard with his work diaries detailing in-depth aspects of tasks, including PPE and H&S practices. Calum has an excellent attitude and work ethic. This accompanied by a mature approach to his learning, possibly due to Calum having already completed a university degree, made him stand out from his peers. It doesn’t matter what work stream Calum has been placed in, he has always quickly established himself due to his in-depth plumbing knowledge and impressive hand skills to become a valued member of each team."
"Fife Council have great pleasure in nominating 2nd Year Apprentice Plasterer Todd Arthur as a Rising Star. Todd has gone from strength to strength since starting his apprenticeship and has had an exceptional start despite the challenging restrictions Covid had placed on the construction industry. Working within our Voids properties Todd has undertaken a full range of plastering tasks, including full plaster finishes to ceilings and walls. He has also been working on self-levelling floors and external roughcast repairs. He has quickly become efficient and skilled in these tasks and from the onset Todd’s supervisor had commented that his hand skills and work ethic were excellent. Todd has fully embraced becoming a team player, he has created positive relationships within his team. He works well with other trades supporting them to complete jobs and it has been noted on his review that he never stands idle. During quiet periods it has been observed that Todd assists the labourers to carry out their tasks, showing initiative and adaptability. An example of Todd’s maturity is that his is now undertaking driving duties two years earlier than normally permissible for our apprentices. Unfortunately, Todd’s journeyperson was unable to drive due to a medical condition which would normally have been a significant problem within the workstream. Todd has taken his new responsibility for being the sole driver of the works vehicle in his stride, displaying reliability and excellent timekeeping, thus ensuring his journeyperson can continue to work. As part of Building Services apprenticeship program, apprentices are required to build a work portfolio. Todd has excelled in this area, producing a detailed account of his work undertaken with photographic evidence. His portfolio is a diary of his work experiences and is testament to his commitment to his learning during his 1st and 2nd year. As a result of his efforts being highly recognised in the workplace, Todd was nominated for the Association for Public Service (APSE) Scottish Apprentice of the Year Awards 2022 and represented Fife Council as a finalist. He was also awarded the “best Student” in the plastering section at Edinburgh College 2022. Building Services conduct their own internal apprentice awards and had 133 Apprentices applying for the 2022 competition, Todd won the 2nd Year category adding to his previous success in 1st year. His genuine appreciation for this opportunity of an apprenticeship is a quality that has made him stand out from his peers. Todd is highly regarded by his fellow team members. Throughout his first two years of his apprenticeship, he has produced an excellent portfolio detailing his progress so far in his apprenticeship. Todd has 100% attendance at work and college, he has set himself high standards, I have no doubt he will manage to maintain them. From the onset of his apprenticeship, 2nd Year Plasterer Todd Arthur has impressed the Apprentice Management Team with his commitment, attitude and work ethic. The work portfolio he has produced in this short time evidences his knowledge and the feedback from his supervisor validates that he has become a valued member of his team. He has in his early years of his apprenticeship displayed reliability, adaptability, and enthusiasm on every task he is set. Todd is quickly progressing into a skilled tradesperson showing maturity beyond his years and we are excited to see where Todd’s future career will take him."
FLEXcon Europe Ltd
"We are addressing a need for the business to bring younger employees into the business to ensure our succession planning can be achieved. Duncan has brought a fresh approach to our Engineering team by bringing his youthful enthusiasm, and a different way of thinking whilst embracing IT skills. In the 2 years he has been with FLEXcon Duncan has become the specialist on our new top coating machine working closely with our Production team to give advice from an Engineering perspective to qualify the new machine to ensure products are run to the highest quality. Duncan has achieved yellow belt in lean training through Fife College and we have upskilled Duncan on electrical training, and he has recently signed up to a BSC in Electrical Engineering through Open University, Duncan will undertake this training alongside working full time at FLEXcon."
FLEXcon Europe Ltd
"One of our core values at FLEXcon is Drive for Excellence and Jessie Sou is a shining example of this. At the age of only 23 she recently completed her honours degree and was still working through her Masters Degree in Data Science at Strathclyde University when she applied for a role as a data analyst at FLEXcon. She was keen to put her data scientist skills into practice in the world of manufacturing, so much so, that she easily managed to convince us that she was dedicated enough to handle her studies as well as taking on the role at FLEXcon! Since joining she has made an immediate impact on our business. Her thirst for knowledge and her ability to learn quickly is impressive. In less than a year, she understands our complex manufacturing business and has become the authoritative figure in understanding and providing analytics for the company. To do this, Jessie has undergone an incredible amount of training in new systems and new reporting languages as well as working collaboratively with other departments to help understand the company, its culture and our processes. These analytics have helped us make some serious changes to our business and have helped us reduce our leadtime to customers. We are going through an incredible state of change at FLEXcon with our highest sales levels on record and this has really stress tested our processes and systems. Jessie has been an instrumental figure in a new Digital Transformation team at FLEXcon, who's responsibility is it to implement a programme of projects focused solely on Improving The Customer’s Journey. Most notably, Jessie is heading up the Artificial Intelligence Project which tackles many of the customer pain points in our ordering process which have been felt following our unprecedented levels of demand. Whilst at university, she based her dissertation on understanding the workings of Artificial Intelligence and its role in helping FLEXcon tackle this issue. Having gained a distinction in her Masters, Jessie will now lead the project to integrate Artificial Intelligence into the FLEXcon order entry process which will help our customers with improved response time and reduced errors at order entry. Although young and relatively new to the world of work, Jessie Sou brings another dimension to our team. The experience she brings is in a different category to most and it shouldn’t be underestimated. She has great links with the education world who are at the forefront of technologies which helps our team keep abreast of digital developments and her youth is an asset to our organisation. Aside from energy and drive it brings, having youth in your digital transformation team is a must as the youth of today are the ones that are closest to the technologies of the future. Jessies ideas are crucial to our Digital Transformation plans as they are based on interactions with the digital world which are very different to that of older generations!"
"Erin Davies joined Mowi Consumer Products UK in Rosyth on 23rd March 2020. She was one of the initial inductees to the newly formed apprenticeship scheme that was being rolled out within our business. Erin was originally recruited within our supply chain function as an “apprentice planner” which would give her the experience over time to pick up one of the production areas of our £250m operation. To say Erin was thrown in at the deep end was an understatement, just as she began her role within the planning team, the global pandemic began to take effect across Scotland and the rest of the UK. With lockdowns implemented and cases continually on the increase our customer demand grew exponentially as getting to supermarkets was all that people could go out for. Initially, our intention for Erin was to build her knowledge across the entire department to understand the product portfolio, as well as numerous complex manufacturing processes and also individual customer specifications and volumes. Due to the global pandemic and unprecedented volumes, Erin was keen to increase her learning and we were able to support this due to Erin’s capability, curiosity and people skills. Erin was engaged in a fast track training programme within the planning team to establish how she would handle and cope regarding learning so much in a very short period of time, this is an industry where the concept of short shelf life & fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) planning is a challenge at all times but under these pandemic conditions was significantly more challenging as consumer behaviours were so erratic. Erin seemed to be a natural in the role and the fact she was only 19 years old at the time did not deter her from picking up the role and as a result gaining confidence very quickly. Within a very short period of time (around 3/4 months), she was delivering the role of an experienced planner from downloading orders, managing stocks as well as planning 6 high speed packing lines containing multi-customer specs, allergens and specie changes. This would have been quite an achievement for an experienced planner already but Erin had further unknown challenges to contend with as each day evolved i.e. significant labour shortages, raw material disruption caused by supplier covid challenges, alongside very erratic order fluctuations from our customers. This led to multiple changes to plans throughout the day to ensure we achieved the best service level possible and the flexibility that Erin demonstrated as well as her ability to take this in her stride was evident for the team. Erin never seems to be fazed by any of the challenges and always had the ability to ask questions if unsure, which is a very important trait to have, an ability to ask for support but also challenge the ‘status quo’ of how and why we do something. Erin’s next challenge was Christmas and the seasonality demands of our production. At this time we had maternity absence to cover also. New products launched and processes were added to the mix and Erin worked with the unknown of what a first Christmas with the global pandemic would bring in terms of customer demand. Erin worked extremely hard along with her colleagues in planning and operations to ensure that we maximised productivity and best used the people we had available to deliver our all year around lines and our Christmas activity at a time when shortage of staff as well as absence were playing a substantial part on our ability to be as flexible as we wanted. As we moved into the New Year it became very apparent that Erin wanted to learn more and more about the mechanics of the department, in her own time she spent a large proportion of hours reviewing how our weekly planning tools came together and operated from driving customer demand via our systems, to then feeding to various other departments like Procurement to ensure material / packaging available. She was keen to understand how the weekly information was then converted into the daily plans and to look at ways of fine tuning areas that could be improved. She showed a willingness to continue to learn and improve her knowledge of a broader view with regards to planning and the forward strategy of the business. Erin continues to excel within the planning team and has gained more experience in planning our Primary, Added Value, High Care, High Risk and Deli departments. She has bonded well and has grown strong working relationships with our New Product Development, Technical, Procurement, Logistics, Hygiene, Engineering, Commercial, HR and Finance Teams and is held in high regard within our business. Our business is growing and continues to build in complexity, which requires the ability of a strong planner with credentials to work at pace and be as flexible as our customers demand is fast moving and changes are implemented at short notice. The majority of our raw material comes from the West Coast of Scotland from our salmon farms where weather can also have an adverse impact on our supply at very short notice. The role that Erin performs is for a dedicated, adaptable individual who has the ability to analyse the facts and make very good judgement calls with the information at hand, to be able to take everything that comes her way in her stride is testament to her ability to manage change, with a business that is forever evolving. Erin has achieved all of the above whilst studying her SVQ, Business & Administration Level 3, which will be completed this year, this is also testament to her work ethic to have accomplished this with everything else that was evolving around our business at the time. We are extremely proud to have Erin in our team and I am sure that she will go on to grow, develop within Mowi CP UK and move onto different roles as her career develops. Erin is a Rising Star within our business, and we truly believe that her career path, speed of learning, ability to adapt at a very young age makes here a very strong candidate for the “Rising Star Champions” award."
"Charli joined MOWI in 2018 through the “Hand-picked 100” scheme which focused on helping young people get into work. She joined the engineering department on a 1-year temporary contract as an Administration Assistant and impressed the management team so much that her position was made permanent after only 6 months! Initially, Charli’s role centered around carrying out data collection on engineering downtime and reporting KPI’s for the department. This data helped us analyse equipment breakdowns and implement corrective actions which resulted in large reductions in annual downtime on our high-tech production equipment. As the business ran a project to introduce a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) Charli began to really take ownership of this and is currently the MOWI CP UK expert on the system used which is called Hexagon EAM. Charli uses this system to plan and assign important maintenance activities to the 42 engineering personnel within the team. She has also shown a passion to share knowledge and has chaired training sessions with our sister sites within MOWI and provided tuition to engineering managers on how to implement this system and get the most from its wide variety of tools. Charli’s development further gathered pace this year when she was promoted into a higher-level position as Engineering Support Lead. In this role she is in charge of the engineering stores team which consists of 2 x Stores coordinators and 1 x Business Administration Apprentice. As well as providing direct line management to her team, collectively they are responsible for running a busy store area which has over £1.5M of stock holdings. Her responsibility also includes weekly budget reporting to senior management for the site. On a personal note, Charli is a delight to work with, always has a cheery face and a straight to the point attitude without being negative. She will always take the time to assist anyone who asks for advice. Key projects and highlights • Engineering downtime analyses and reduction in downtime – Charli has been instrumental in developing analysis around lost operating time of our machinery and working with the senior engineers to reduce this time • Planning and assigning maintenance activities – Charli is responsible for planning maintenance work to ensure legal compliance is maintained and delegating this workload, taking account of engineer experience and skills as well as assessing when this will cause least impact to the department affected. • Assisting in ensuring engineering compliance resulting in AA+ BRC accreditation – This is the highest score you can achieve in the BRC audit, which is an official assessment of a food manufacturer’s adherence to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety and involves a thorough examination of all processes and documents involved in manufacturing food. • Project management with engineering store re-location – Charli was one of the key people involved in relocating our stores, including designing a store that was easy to navigate and introducing new online systems for engineers to check parts in and out, leading to more efficient costings and better available stocks, which reduced the time it took to fix machinery. • Expert in the engineering system, CMMS. This self-directed learning has resulted in system developments and improvements. As mentioned above, this has all resulted in Charli securing her first line management role and I have every confidence Charli has a bright career ahead of her at Mowi, and is definitely a “rising star.”"
"We are nominating Teri for the Champion Award due to her desire to develop others. She has recently rolled-off a 4-year Mechanical Engineering apprenticeship into a permanent Engineering position in our bottling hall. She is a role model for new apprentices and regularly offers them support and coaching to ensure they succeed too. Last year (during her 4th year apprenticeship) Teri volunteered to become a Career Ready Mentor to a local S5 School Student to help them explore their potential future career path. She embraced the opportunity, and she mentored her student towards a 4-week internship within the Spirit Supply Department at Diageo. The newer apprentices find Teri very approachable, and they go to her if they have any questions or worries, and she always has the answer or gets the answer for them. She is very welcoming, takes them onboard and tries to bring out the best in them. She has a calm demeanour which relaxes other people and takes the pressure out of situations. When working alongside newer apprentices on projects she leads by example, encourages their input and will ensure that they are kept up to date with progress even when they are offsite at college. She is exceptionally modest and will play down her positive impact as just being “part of the job”. She enjoys bringing out the best in others and does it because that is who she is, not to get praise. This was clearly evident with her Career Ready Student as Teri wanted to be involved as a mentor but was very nervous about what it would entail, and it really pushed Teri out of her comfort zone as she was still a 4th year apprentice at the time. However, she asked for coaching from more experienced mentors, took it all onboard and was a great mentor who really connected with the Career Ready student who she continues to mentor even now."
"Ashleigh Wilson is one of our Rising Stars at Diageo. Since joining CamLe (Cameronbridge Distillery & Leven Spirit Supply Scotland), as a 1st year apprentice, Ashleigh has continued to impress and instill hope that the future talent in Diageo is looking bright. Ashleigh joined CamLe as a spirit operator apprentice at Leven FSDU (Filling Store & Disgorging Unit). The role is usually not reserved for first year apprentices due to the difficult nature of the role. To perform at the FSDU, a Senior Operator not only needs to be able to manage line performance, tanker transfers, quality check, HMRC compliance, control system and sampling, but they must also act as a leader for the line and coordinate and plan work for the team. There was no doubt from week one that Ashleigh was up to the task. Her unshakable enthusiasm and can-do attitude are a breath of fresh air within the FSDU. As a manager, it is sometimes difficult to get the team to properly recognise each other’s efforts - I had no such problem with Ashleigh. Whether it was her work on the shop floor or command in the control room, I am often met with the phrase ‘that’s the best apprentice we‘ve ever seen’. To say, that is no easy feat, is an understatement! Whilst being the youngest member of the team, Ashleigh gained the respect of the operators quickly, unafraid to get her hands dirty and get straight into the process. Technically, Ashleigh has performed outstandingly. She is not only the first apprentice ever to be signed off for full SOP duties within the FSDU (with no other achieving this in their time), but she also achieved one of the fastest sign offs out of any FSDU SOP trainee. To call Ashleigh’s start a baptism of fire is an understatement. Through difficulties with absence and covid, the SOP population had dwindled to critical levels in periods through Q2/3. There was a real possibility that the FSDU would need to shut due to resource constraints, potentially creating a huge impact on Leven’s Scotch whisky output at a time where every drop was precious. Ashleigh stepped up to the plate after only 2.5 months of training, confidently taking charge of the FSDU to cover the full Senior Op role. Her bravery and clear leadership potential shone keeping the FSDU afloat for over three weeks production in total. This roughly equates to the prevention of a miss of 7,401 of mature casks, or over 1,000,000 liters of cask strength whisky! On top of this it also enabled the filling of 8,409 casks or 1,287,000 liters of new make spirit! Ashleigh has also played an active role in the creation and roll-out of SIC boards, helping design the new boards and often leading in my stead."
"Kyle's nomination is a result of his outstanding competence and engagement. He has just completed a 4-year apprenticeship program and secured a full-time position at Diageo Leven packaging site. Kyle has delivered multiple cost saving improvements during his apprenticeship, one was installing a new electrical panel on a machine to reduce adhesive application which resulted in a year on year saving of £5k. During COVID Kyle took it upon himself to self-learn Siemens Portal software using the internet and then shared this learning with the electrical team. Kyle leads by example in the use of the maintenance data and analysis system and was recognised by the maintenance planner for the quality of his input which drives electrical improvement opportunities across site. During his apprenticeship he has consistently demonstrated his ability to problem solve complex issues and has taken time to explain faults to the Operators to enhance their skillset. Kyle is continuing to increase his competence levels through self-development opportunities and ongoing on the job learning. He is a valued member of the Electrical Engineering Team at Diageo."
"Mhairi Detheridge is one of our Rising Stars at Diageo. Mhairi has displayed ownership and desire, despite having only joined the business as a Spirit Operator Apprentice less than a year ago. She has spent her first rotation in the Process & Liquid Development Area here at Leven Spirit Supply and has very quickly established herself as a recognised and respected member of the team, contributing to the sustained growth and consistent delivery of multiple high-value (e.g., Casks of Distinction) or novel and innovative (Johnnie Walker Princes Street Kegs) supplies. She has very recently moved into the White Spirits Tank Farm team at Leven, quickly building a rapport with colleagues and continuing her functional development. She is also managing to juggle priorities and make significant progress with both SVQ Modern Apprenticeship and an HNC in Chemical Engineering with Forth Valley College; and takes ownership for management of visitors to site from the college during the challenges of site access during the COVID pandemic, as well as taking on scribe role during Monthly Apprenticeship Review meetings. Over and above all of this, Mhairi also progressed an improvement project off her own back in the PLDA (Process & Liquid Development Area) to optimise filtration temperature control automation, allowing for dual-stream processing to virtually double the capacity of high-value whisky blends throughput, driving significant value for the business. This involved a Management of Change process, liaison with contractors, and arranging downtime for installation. Mhairi has also been a key driver in the implementation of an ‘Apprentice Induction Pack’ which is being rolled out this year. This will ensure any future apprentices will have access to all relevant information, pertaining to their role, immediately to hand."
whilst a student day worked for our companies throughout his summer breaks and
at winter holidays too. Upon completing his degree, he came back for the summer
at a time when management where overloaded and dealing with life's major upset
of our founder and father being terminally ill. He took onboard all the issues
and pushed forward. Within a short space of time what had been a summer job
has resulted in him taking over the whole management his degree was in physics,
but his skill set is management and organisation, truly a 5-star individual.
In every way a management rising star.
The Ecology Centre
"Sam joined our team over nine months ago, initially under the Government Kick Start Scheme, and it has been a journey for Sam. I remember the first day I met him for this interview, like yesterday. Through support from the Job Centre in Kirkcaldy, Sam applied for our Café Assistant 6-month placement via the Government Kickstart Scheme. I mind reading his CV before his interview and thought he did not have the skills or experience we needed, but how I was wrong. From the interview, I was blown away by his passion and commitment to learning and reliving his love for food that he learned from his father. He needed nurture and support to return to the employment ladder after becoming unemployed due to COVID and personal circumstances. When I called Sam to say we would like to offer him the post, you could hear how much the job would mean and how committed he would be. Since Sam joined the Centre, we have been able to support him in achieving his level 5 in Professional Cookery at Fife Council. As part of his development, we always spoke about investing in his passion and supporting him as much as possible. Over the first six months, Sam developed great relationships within the Staff team and built excellent relationships with Customers and Volunteers. His values and attitude have impacted many of the vulnerable volunteers we work with. He shows evident passion when cooking for our dementia group, ensuring they have a meal that reflects the food they like and provides them with a positive experience. Since completing his six months placement, we have secured funding to keep Sam on at the Centre and promote him to Training Kitchen Supervisor. Allowing him to lead our team of kitchen staff whilst supporting young people with barriers to employment through our employability programmes, supporting them to develop their knowledge within the hospitality sector also helping to reduce their barriers to gaining a positive destination. This promotion has opened many doors for Sam, driving our organisation forward with a focus on supporting people who need it most. Sam has developed clear supervisory skills, which will help his career development. Within the last month, we have offered Sam the opportunity to complete his apprenticeship in Leadership and Supervision with the Centre, which will develop his skills and knowledge to become the manager he wants to be. Sam jumped at this chance and is now on track to pass his Level 6 within the next nine months. Over the last nine months working with Sam, we have learned much about him and how he brightens up the office and café when he is on duty. We have many customers, volunteers and clients asking when he is on shift as he provides that supportive environment that supports everyone. When we reflect on the last nine months of working with Sam, we start to think about how he has achieved so much with all ACEs he has experienced in life—from being disengaged with the education system, losing his father at a young age, experiencing poor mental health and taking on a caring support role within his wider family setting. Sam is a true example of what can be achieved when we invest in our young people and tap into their talents. All he needed was nurture and support to allow him to understand this potential. One key example that sticks in my head from the time working with Sam was when we attended the Scottish Charities Award in Glasgow. The aim of attending the award session was to raise Sam's awareness of the broad scope of the third sector. On the night SMILE, Counselling won the Charity of the Year Award. After the formal awards night, Sam approached their Managing Director and spoke about how their charity will mean a lot to young people and wished he had that support available when he was young. The difference it would have made to many of his peers who may still be here. What struck me most was that their Managing Director contacted me the following day saying that winning the award was amazing. Still, his one highlight was meeting Sam, how he was inspirational and had to keep up the great work, and he did not doubt that he would be a future leader in the third sector, inspiring change. From Unemployed to Completing his placement, achieving college, and now leading a team of staff. What a fantastic story and our Raising Star for the Centre. He is a privilege to work with, and I'm sure Sam will achieve great things. All he needed was a chance to open the horizon and support his journey into the Sam we have today, which will continue to grow."
The Ecology Centre
"Our nomination is for Isaac Fraser-West. He joined us through the government Kickstart programme as a site and garden trainee. And what a rising star he has shown himself to be. Whether Rain, Sun or Snow, and he has worked in them all and always with a smile, Isaac has shown a commitment to the team that shows a level of maturity and work ethic that is second to none. He has thrown himself at every project including the difficult task of restoring an abandoned pond. Working in difficult conditions he has demonstrated that he is capable of taking instruction and working both alone and as part of a team. His work alongside our many volunteers including some who have challenging additional support needs such as Autism and Dementia; has demonstrated that he is a naturally caring person, who is able to see the person and not the disability. He brings joy to the people that he works with and provides an environment where everyone no matter their limitations feel that they are an important successful member of our team. Whilst his job role, is on a part-time basis, Isaac has committed many additional hours working as a volunteer, which has enabled us to focus on some major projects. He has changed his plans to suit the operational needs of the business and through this flexibility, he has shown that being part of a team is one of his core values. No matter where Isaac finds himself in his future, we believe that his core principles, work ethic and naturally caring manner will see him progress to a career in which he will no doubt shine."
Itek Systems Management
"Our rising star at Itek Systems Management is Leo Duncan. Leo is an apprentice and has been with us since November 2021, and his progression and development have been paramount. When Leo first joined the business, he was only 16 years old, but his work ethic and determination were that of a professional adult. Before joining us, Leo was in a computing course at college, but this was during the height of the pandemic, so social distancing rules meant that he couldn’t attend on campus. Doing the course from home and online was difficult for him, as a computing course requires many resources, and technical issues can be regular. So, along with many other students during this time, learning from home wasn’t working out, leading to him stopping the course. But this was not due to a lack of enthusiasm and desire to learn, which has been noticed by all staff members here. Leo has done an excellent job in the workplace; he is now an esteemed member of our team of engineers. He has excellent knowledge and understanding of IT and assists all of our clients daily. As well as developing his technical skills, he is a fantastic team worker, Leo has great communication skills, whether it’s with other staff members or clients. Leo is still only 17 years old, but continuously proves himself daily and is a key member of Itek Systems Management. He has also balanced his work with the apprenticeship requirements and has done a brilliant job with all his coursework."