The 2019 Scottish Apprenticeship Awards have seen a tremendous number of current and past apprentices entered into the nationwide competition with the chance of taking home one of many awards. The final, which took place in Dundee's Caird Hall was a night enjoyed by all who attended.
David Mackenzie, Graduate Apprentice in Engineering: Design and Manufacture at Strathclyde University picked up the award of Graduate Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by the Centre for Work-based Learning.
David previously worked as a sheet metal fabricator, before moving on to GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) four years ago where he is now a Team Manager. Having left school more than 20 years ago, a Graduate Apprenticeship has given David the opportunity to get a degree and progress his career.
David said: "I’m a different person now to when I left school– I wasn’t ready for further education then. It wasn’t until later in life that I wanted to add technical understanding to the hands-on experience. Luckily, I found out about the Graduate Apprenticeship through a colleague and it just ticked all the boxes.
"I think the Graduate Apprenticeship has given me confidence in my own abilities and shown that I actually know more than what I had previously given myself credit for."
Now in the second year of his Graduate Apprenticeship, he is able to work, earn and learn, all while getting a degree.
As a 38 year old, David insists that Graduate Apprenticeships are the perfect fit at GSK as it allows progression for everyone, no matter what stage they're at in their career.
He said: "There’s people from all walks of life on my university course. I’m almost 40 and having the opportunity to do this but I suppose the beauty of the Graduate Apprenticeship is that it’s open to everyone."
Hear more from David here:
Click here to find out more about Apprenticeships.