Apprentices encouraged to seize future Caithness investment prospects

Apprentices encouraged to seize future Caithness investment prospects

The latest batch of Dounreay’s newly qualified skilled workers were encouraged to make the most of the exciting opportunities and challenges ahead.

Giving her keynote speech at the annual prize giving ceremony on Friday, Lord Lieutenant of Caithness, Anne Dunnett, talked about her own ambitions to succeed as a solicitor when she too completed her apprenticeship against the odds.

She was speaking at the awards ceremony of Dounreay’s apprentice training programme when she presented certificates of indenture and achievement trophies to the latest group of young people to qualify in electrical, mechanical and instrument crafts.

Anne congratulated the apprentices for all their hard work and achievements and explained: “I’m living proof that with enough determination and ambition you can succeed. I was considered a relatively late-starter for my chosen profession and as I already worked within the legal profession as a Sheriff Officer I had to overcome the system to qualify as a solicitor at age 35.

“Practical work and experience really counts and you have to stick with your ambitions and work very hard to thrive in these difficult and uncertain times.

“You are a credit to DSRL, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and its contractors. Keeping the skills in the area is something we should all be very proud of, not just your friends and family who are gathered here tonight. It’s a great opportunity for young people and you should be congratulated for seizing the chance to better yourselves.”

A new generation of skilled workers will be needed to make the most of the investment prospects the county is being offered as Dounreay’s impending closure looms.

“We need to take what’s on offer and grasp the hard work and challenges that we face to make sure we develop new major industrial opportunities in the area within the marine energy sector.” explained Dounreay’s managing director Simon Middlemas.

“This is one of the best days of the year for us and is just the beginning. Don’t believe the cynics, the North Sea runs on Dounreay apprenticeships and the county is proud of you all.

“We wish you every success now and with your future careers beyond Dounreay.”

Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd is working to help the local economy retain the high-quality training when it’s no longer needed by the site.

Well over a thousand people have served their time as apprentices at Dounreay. When the site shuts down there will be highly trained professionals to continue the legacy of Dounreay’s skilled workforce to develop the county’s new industrial opportunities.

Certificates of Indenture were presented to: Matthew Sutherland, Jamie Spargo, Steven Blackwood, Stuart Ramsay, Martin Sutherland, Adrian Mackay and Kris Hamilton of DSRL and to Christopher Harvey, David Crawford and Neil Macdonald of Johnson Controls.

Trophy winners were Christopher Harvey of Johnson Controls who won the Lachie Macmillan Memorial Cup for most improved apprentice and Duncan Carruthers of DSRL who won the Director Trophy for Best Overall Apprentice.