Edinburgh carpenter wins Apprentice of the Year

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AN Edinburgh Zoo worker beat entrants from across Scotland to win Adult Apprentice of the Year 2015.

Andrew McQuillan was awarded the prestigious accolade at a prize giving ceremony held at the Scottish Parliament.

He was among 14 apprentices nominated from across the country in four separate categories.

The 28-year-old has been working at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo for seven years and is currently in his second year of his Carpentry and Joinery apprenticeship.

Mr McQuillan originally started work as a driver and labourer, but last year he successfully applied to become a joinery apprentice.

Andrew was nominated for the award by his employer, conservation charity the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), in recognition of his high standards, professionalism and in particular for having already taken the lead role on a number of key projects.

Gavin Whigham, head of property and estates at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Andrew has been an inspiration to everyone in his team and we are so pleased he has been named 2015 Adult Apprentice of the Year. He is a true professional and has achieved a great deal during his apprenticeship.

“This is the first time that the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has had a construction trade apprenticeship, so it is great to see our first apprentice in this trade do so well. We are extremely proud of Andrew’s achievements and I am sure he will go on to win many more accolades for his work.”

The accolade is part of the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council (SBATC) awards.

SBATC Chairman Gavin Hay said: “Once again, we were struck by the standard of nominations to this years’ SBATC Apprentice of the Year Awards and I would like to congratulate again all of the winners on their achievements and wish them the very best in their careers. These Awards provide a terrific opportunity to pay tribute to the outstanding talents of apprentices working throughout the Scottish construction sector and to recognise the huge commitment and positive contribution they make to the industry.”