Highland Business Awards 2018 DYWICH Finalists

Wednesday, 17th October 2018

Ankerville Nurseries

As a provider of Modern Apprenticeships for over 10 years and with a 100% success rate, Ankerville is truly a leader in developing the Highland workforce. By consistently investing in young people and providing quality training and employment opportunities in Alness and Tain, Ankerville is in the best position to provide truly excellent childcare to Ross-shire families. The organisation’s commitment to continued learning has led to 75% of its apprentices choosing to further their education to degree level, helping them to shape their professional careers and add to the region’s growing pool of childcare talent.



Artdec’s policy of investing in the latest technology and the best available training for its apprentices has paid off both for the company and the young Highland workforce. Its commitment to the young workforce is borne out of the company’s youthful founders’ understanding of the challenges facing those entering the workforce. This has seen them cultivate links with Colleges both at home and abroad allowing their apprentices to reach their full potential through a program of continual learning and improvement, as well as experience in new technical skills not available anywhere else.



Care and Learning Alliance (CALA)

For over four decades CALA have been providing flexible early learning and childcare across the Highlands and Moray. At the heart of its work is the belief that the region’s unique geography should not prevent young people from fulfilling their ambitions. In providing online training in combination with a range of placements, the organization allows Highlanders the freedom to translate their passion into a career. Through flexible, tailored learning and a range of support to learners – including buddying through their ‘Youth Ambassadors’ system – CALA is at the heart of this vital Highland industry.




Sitting at the heart of Inverness’ growing creative hub, Dynam is a marketing agency committed to enabling young people in the Highlands to fulfill their potential and goals in their home region. A strong commitment to training and retaining staff means Dynam can provide high quality and stable careers in a vibrant industry. The company isn’t just committed to passing on knowledge to its own staff – it also runs workshops for high school students, offers a range of work experience opportunities and have developed partnerships with UHI and a variety of community groups.


Essence of Harris

Essence of Harris is a candle and home fragrance company with a commitment to providing stable, long-term employment opportunities for young people in the Outer Hebrides. In the space of just three years the company has grown beyond expectation, in large part thanks to its continued investment in training. By working closely with the local council, HIE and Business Gateway, amongst others, it has demonstrated a willingness to develop staff that goes above and beyond. This approach has seen the business not only enjoy commercial success and create a variety of secure positions, giving the island’s youth the opportunity to forge successful careers without leaving home.


Farmer Jones Academy CIC

The Farmer Jones Academy was founded in response to the need to provide more opportunities for young Highlanders in the food production industry. By partnering with schools in the region they provide hands-on experience for school pupils, not only in the field of agriculture but also in associated areas such as business management and e-commerce – all vital skills required to succeed in this increasingly dynamic sector.

The business is a highly beneficial one to the region as a whole, providing skills and positive employment destinations for young people while allowing the booming food and drink sector to grow on the back of a highly skilled local workforce.



Frankie and Lola’s

Along with raising the bar in the soft play industry, Frankie and Lola’s has demonstrated a clear commitment to investment in local youth. Their recent IIYP Gold accreditation is testament to this, as is the fact 80% of its staff are young people who play a central role in the business. By offering opportunities at supervisory and management level, Frankie and Lola’s has retained staff by offering genuine career progression. They also support those who seek further education qualifications by holding their positions while they study, as well as the wider Highland economy through its emphasis on using local suppliers and recruiting home grown talent.



High Life Highland

Aiming to take young Highlanders as far as their potential will carry them, High Life Highland provides leadership mentoring opportunities to over 2600 young people across the region. Through its mentoring program, each participant is teamed up with a Young Leader who guides them through their journey. The process allows young people to develop confidence and leadership skills while giving back to their communities. By offering the program in a range of sectors and in both English and Gaelic, young participants are able to tailor their experience to their needs and ambitions and focus on gaining skills that will be useful to their choice of future career.



Highland Council

Having recently established its Modern Apprenticeship Centre, the Highland Council continues to offer support and mentoring to apprentices from across the region. Aside from employing apprentices and offering avenues into stable and high quality employment in-house, the Council engages in significant schools outreach. In addition to liaising with schools on employment destinations, there is also provision of practical help in the form of CV writing workshops, mock interview practice and work experience schemes to ensure young Highlanders have the best possible prospects at the Council and elsewhere.  



Innes & MacKay Solicitors and Estate Agents

As a longstanding and trusted member of the Highland business community, Innes and MacKay have a strong history of employing from the local community. This is reflected by its extensive and growing involvement with the region’s schools. By providing work experience, supporting a range of legally focused competitions, mentoring school pupils and even providing a bursary for law students from the region, the firm demonstrates a clear commitment to the Highlands and its young people. Beyond this, the firm has consistently supported employees without prior access to legal education through the Law Society’s pathway to qualification as a solicitor.




Inverness Kart Raceway

Through their ‘Day1’ mentoring program, Inverness Kart Raceway has put many young Highlanders in pole position to reach their potential. By partnering with schools in Inverness and the surrounding areas, the Raceway is able to provide a highly supportive environment for young people taking their first steps into the workforce. By building confidence, offering continual development and career advice, the Raceway allows young people to build careers for themselves while providing a five star facility for the local community. By investing its profits directly into the Day1 program the Inverness Kart Raceway looks set to be a major player in the development of the Highland workforce going forward.


J Scott and Partners

The young workforce at J Scott and Partners stands in sharp contrast to many preconceived notions about the agriculture industry with an average employee age of just 21. Through their Modern Apprenticeship program and participation in a range of industry programs, the company provides experience across the industry, such as the production and sale of grain to the whisky industry, the breeding and rearing livestock and general farm management. A strong commitment to staff mentoring has allowed many to flourish and be recognized at industry awards in their own right, something the company is immensely proud of.  


King’s Inverness

King’s Inverness is a church with young people at its core. In addition to offering a range of practical services to parents, King’s runs classes for young people focused on helping them secure employment and learn effective budgeting. King’s also runs a coffee shop in Inverness, and through a partnership with Culloden Academy it has provided work experience and skills training to many local young people. The partnership helps participant understand the real responsibility behind running a business and has proved incredibly successful in both financial terms and the improved prospects of participants. King’s plans to expand this exciting and innovative program significantly in the coming years.



Robertson Group

Robertson Group actively seeks to give young people the skills and opportunity to build a career in the construction industry. The company delivered over 400 work placements last year and engaged with over 24,000 young people through a variety of programs. The group also runs a 3 month program for S3 DTEC students at Elgin Academy which has significantly raised uptake of STEM subjects and interest in construction careers, especially amongst female pupils. Robertson continually strive to develop young talent ensuring they have all the support, learning and involvement required to progress their careers. Locally, the workforce under 25 has increased from 13% to 17% this year alone.


Safety Training Solutions

Safety Training Solutions is a rapidly growing company offering development opportunities to young people, both through internal programs and the training services it delivers to others.

Annually the company delivers in excess of 100 Modern Apprenticeship to all ages, a large number of which are in the under 25 age group. This is delivered in partnership with Skills Development Scotland and employers with all the apprentices in employment.

Through delivery of a wide range of accredited external training courses, the company is positively impacting on the young workforce and upskilling the Highland economy as a whole.  



Wyvis Roofing Inverness

In the often ferocious Highland weather, roofing is a skill that is always in high demand. Wyvis is helping equip young people with valuable skills in the industry through a range of apprenticeship programs. By offering apprenticeships that allow learners to specialise their craft as they work, young workers can enjoy delivering good quality services in exchange for excellent career prospects in the local area. It is not just in roofing apprenticeships that Wyvis aims to improve its workforce, however. It also offer training to all office staff, allowing individuals to develop throughout their career.