Orkney apprentice wins top award

L-R: CITB CEO Adrian Belton, Sophie Turner, Phil Vickery
L-R: CITB CEO Adrian Belton, Sophie Turner, Phil Vickery

An Orkney apprentice has scooped the top prize at the 2016 Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Apprentice Awards.

Sophie Turner, 25, a stonemason apprentice employed by Orkney Islands Council, won the award for GB and Scotland Apprentice of the Year at the ceremony, which took place at Merchant Taylor’s Hall in London. The ceremony was hosted by former England rugby star, Phil Vickery MBE.

Sophie said she was “delighted” to win the award.

“I can’t believe I’ve won. Being nominated was exciting, but this is brilliant! I’m really excited for a long-term career in construction; my apprenticeship has really helped set me up for the future. It’s funny to think that playing with Lego as a little girl has led me into stonemasonry!

“I’d encourage anyone thinking about starting an apprenticeship to give it a go. I would like to thank everyone at CITB, Orkney Islands Council and Saint Magnus Cathedral for all they have done for me,” she added.

The CITB Apprentice Awards celebrate the achievements of CITB apprentices and their employers.

Adrian Belton, CITB chief executive, said Sophie was “a great example of an apprentice who is really developing their skills fit for a modern construction industry”.

He added, “The industry needs more talented women joining. There are fantastic opportunities in the sector and skilled apprentices like Sophie will be first in line, ready to take full advantage. I wish her the very best for the future.”

Other winners on the night included Glen Thomson from Aberdeenshire-based housebuilder, Scotia Homes, who received the Inspirational Apprentice Achievement Award and Moray-based housebuilder, Tulloch of Cummingston, which won Scottish SME Employer of the Year.