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Islander is Scotland’s top Modern Apprentice

14 November 2013

  • Modern Apprenticeships
  • SDS Press Release Archive

National awards for apprentices and businesses

An apprentice who introduced a meat delicacy from the most southern part of Africa to the most northern part of the UK has been named Scotland's Modern Apprentice of the Year.

Jurgens Joubert, from Shetland, also won the Level 3 Apprentice of the Year category at the Awards, delivered by Skills Development Scotland, in Glasgow Science Centre on Wednesday 13 November.

He works with Whiteness butcher J and K Anderson and his specialist meat and poultry skills apprenticeship included everything from meat preparation to packaging, stock control to customer liaison.

His line manager Stuart Eunson said Jurgens applied himself in an exceptional manner and was soon developing new products - including biltong, a taste from his South African homeland.

Jurgens also brought his IT skills into play and developed a system to keep costings and pricings up to date that now takes minutes instead of hours.

Stuart said: "He is the best apprentice I have had. He was quick to learn and got both the practical and theory sides of his apprenticeship without any trouble," he said.

"I would say to any companies considering taking on an apprentice to go for it. I think without doubt that apprentices can bring good benefits to companies. The more apprentices there are, the better I think it would be. It was where I started in the business and it is a very good way to get into the industry and progress from there," explained Stuart.

Based at the firm's north premises, Jurgens spends his days preparing Anderson's ready to eat products and speciality items.

Jurgens, speaking at the Awards ceremony, partnered by GTG Training, said: "I was amazed and am delighted to receive both of the Awards. It was a real surprise and a bit of a shock but I am excited and elated."

Angela Constance, Minister for Youth Employment, said: "All of this year's winners are to be commended for their hard work. These awards rightly celebrate all that is great about Modern Apprentices in Scotland and underline the qualities that they bring to our workplaces. I regularly visit employers of all sizes and am constantly impressed at how positively young people employed as Modern Apprentices are making their mark.

"We are making good progress in reducing levels of youth unemployment. Already this year, we are well on our way to achieving our annual target of seeing 25,000 new Modern Apprenticeship places created. I wish all this year's winners well as they continue their career journeys."

Skills Development Scotland Chief Executive Damien Yeates: "Jurgens' achievement shows the drive and determination to succeed that apprentices bring to the workplace and how employer commitment to Modern Apprenticeships is vital to help develop our workforces of the future."

David Scott, Chief Executive of GTG Training, said: "Everyone at GTG Training has taken great pleasure in being part of this year's Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Awards. Wherever businesses and organisations have had the foresight and determination to employ a Modern Apprentice, and wherever a Modern Apprentice has committed to a specific career, it is important to recognise those contributions to Scotland's economy and to the success of the employing organisation. Our heartiest congratulations to all the finalists and winners of these Awards, and our thanks to Skills Development Scotland for their contribution to employment generally and youth employment in particular."




For further information, please contact:

Audrey Simpson

SDS Communications

0141 285 6207 or


Notes to Editors:


Scotland's Modern Apprenticeship Awards 2013 - winners

Apprentice of the Year - Level 2 -Jemma Oliver - Kirkcaldy, Fife

 Apprentice of the Year - Level 3 - Jurgens Joubert - Whiteness, Shetland Islands

Apprentice of the Year - Technical and Professional - Neil Stewart - Bishopton, Renfrewshire

Apprentice Champion - Rory Gregor - Petrofac, Aberdeen

Micro Employer - 10 employees or fewer - Majella's Coffee Shop - Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire

SME Employer - Between 11 and 249 employees - Hyspec Engineering Ltd - Stewarton, East Ayrshire

Large Employer - Between 250 and 4,999 employees - Score Europe Limited - Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

Macro Employer - Over 5,000 employees - BT Plc  - Glasgow

Public Sector Employer - City of Edinburgh Council