Apprentice electrician Gillian Neil has proved she is a real bright spark by lifting the North Lanarkshire Apprentice of the Year prize.
Gillian, from Motherwell, lifted the overall trophy at the annual apprenticeship awards organised by North Lanarkshire Council’s housing maintenance partner Mears.
The event, at Motherwell Theatre, was attended by an audience of 140 young trainees, their parents, Mears executives and trainers, councillors and officials.
The award reflected the high degree of success achieved by the 23-year-old from Muirhouse in the workplace, at college and representing the company in many events.
She said; “I am really proud to have won this award.
“Nowadays I don’t think there is anything unusual in female tradespeople. Becoming an electrician just seemed to be the route for me.”
Following on from winning the Motherwell College apprentice of the year she represented the College and the Mears at the West of Scotland SECTT regional competition.
From there she was nominated one of the top four UK female mechanical/electrical apprentices at the APSE awards held in Hinckley early October.
Another award winner was 24-year-old apprentice plasterer Johnathan Ryan, from Holytown, who was named second year apprentice of the year.
He was singled out for achieving high standards of workmanship and improvement both at work and in his college course.
Jonathan said: “I completed a pre-apprenticeship course at Motherwell College and had the chance to try a number of trades and enjoyed plastering most.”
He added: “It still hasn’t really sunk in that I’ve won this award.”
Top fourth year apprentice was joiner Lloyd Rafferty (21) from Cleland who was praised for showing high levels of integrity and recognised as a polite and courteous tradesman.
He said: “I worked with my father in family building business and that gave the taste for the apprenticeship. I am really pleased to have won this award.”
The council is now almost halfway through its ground-breaking £15million Youth Investment Programme set up to help 5,000 people into work over a three-year period.
Regeneration and infrastructure convener Councillor David Fagan said: “We are just over halfway through the second year and have already exceeded out targets.
“Almost 2900 young people have been supported into work thanks to our partnerships with more than 500 employers.”