A BORDERS council employee took the runner-up spot in a prestigious apprentice competition held in Stoke-on-Trent.
Colin Lothian, from Scottish Borders Council (SBC), was shortlisted as one of the top five candidates in the APSE Apprentice of the Year Awards, after submission of his application portfolio.
APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not-for-profit local government body working with more than 300 councils throughout the UK, promoting excellence in public services.
It was recognised at the awards ceremony that it was a great achievement for the five finalists to be short-listed for the award. There had been an overwhelming number of applications submitted and the calibre of candidates was extremely high.
Colin, a fabricator welder engineer from Greenlaw, as runner-up, received an all-expenses-paid trip to the Faun/Zoeller factory in Germany, a trophy and a cheque for £50.
Before joining SBC, Colin attended a one-year agricultural engineering course at Borders College. He continued his apprenticeship with SBC in June 2007, attending college in Carlisle for a further four years.
Before the award ceremony, Colin undertook a half-hour interview session with a panel of three, comprising the chief executive for APSE and two representatives of Faun/Zoeller, the award sponsor. This involved several questions relating to his portfolio and his experience during his apprenticeship.
Colin was congratulated and presented with his prize by SBC convenor Alasdair Hutton at the November meeting of the full council.
Mr Hutton told fellow councillors: “This is a very proud achievement for Colin which will last with him all of his life. He has brought great credit on himself and his family, as well as SBC. We are proud to have him on our staff.”
John Martin, fleet manager at SBC, added: “Colin has worked extremely hard and shown great commitment throughout his apprenticeship. This award provides great recognition for the energy he has put into working and studying during the four-year period.
“We are thrilled to see him receiving this award and wish him every success in the future.”
SBC was commended at the awards for Excellence in Training Standards and was awarded a trophy to recognise this.
Bruce Moffat, fleet maintenance manager, had taken responsibility for this and said: “We take the training of our apprentices very seriously and are delighted to accept this commendation on behalf of everyone involved in the process.”