Electrician Callum Sutherland, plumber Jack McKeown and joiner Hannah Cockburn from Linlithgow were all finalists in the national contest. APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK.
Due to the impact Covid has had on apprenticeships nationwide, APSE decided to have one category for the Overall Apprentice of the Year as opposed to various categories. However, due to a massive number of entrants they split the entrants into two categories, 1-2 year and 3-4 year.
Just one of a handful of local female apprentices, former Linlithgow Academy student Hannah said of her apprenticeship: “I believe that learning a trade is something really positive and you learn skills that will never leave you.
"I love the hands-on learning aspect to my apprenticeship. My advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship is to look at what opportunities are available and go for it.”
All three West Lothian entrants fell within the 3-4 year category, and whilst they didn’t come first they were tied in second place.
Executive councillor for services for the community, George Paul, visited the three apprentices at work to mark Scottish Apprenticeship Week. He said: “I’m always delighted to see West Lothian Council’s apprentices recognised by APSE as it is a big deal within the industry but for all three to go through to the finals, then achieving joint 2nd place, is amazing.
“It’s tough competition and I’d like to congratulate all three on this achievement.”
Interim head of housing, customer and building services Julie Whitelaw added: “It’s very well deserved and we couldn’t be more proud of Jack, Hannah and Callum.
"I’d also like to highlight the work of their colleagues within the service who have provided our apprentices with advice and training. That role is such an important element to any training and it’s important to recognise their role in the development of our apprentices.”