North-east firm shortlisted for top accolade

Neil Warren
Neil Warren

North-east firm Clark Integrated Technologies is in the running for the Microsoft Scottish Apprentice Employer of the Year award.

Neil Warren, 18, from Oldmeldrum joined Clark Integrated Technologies (IT) as the company’s first-ever apprentice earlier this year, and nominated his employers for the accolade.

Now I’m getting proper training and work experience across a wide range of IT

Neil Warren Clark Integrated Technologies

The firm has reached the finals and Neil will accompany managing director Austen Clark to the Scottish Parliament later this month, where the winners will be announced.

Neil has appreciated the chance to gain a wide range of on-the-job experience and training through the QA apprenticeship scheme, and felt Clark IT deserved recognition for the “incredible” start they have offered him.

He said: “They took a bit of a risk, taking me on for my enthusiasm, rather than my qualifications as I didn’t have as much to offer on paper as the other applicants.

“Now I’m getting proper training and work experience across a wide range of IT, so I’ve got the best of both worlds which is incredible.”

The winners were being announced at an evening reception in Edinburgh during Scottish Apprenticeship Week which runs from May 18-22.

Microsoft has developed its Modern Apprenticeship activity to help businesses in Scotland access talent to build their businesses, and as a way for local young people to gain high quality IT skills and long term employment.

Its awards recognise the significant impact made by Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland with both employers and candidates.

Working with more than 1,500 commercial partners in Scotland, as well as training partners, the scheme supports young people aged 16-24, improving vital technical skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Taking on the company’s first modern apprentice has been a positive move for Clark IT, according to Mr Clark, who said: “Neil nominating us for this award came completely out of the blue and it shows how much he’s valued becoming part of the Clark IT family.

“Equally, he has become a valued employee, showing us the benefits that apprentices bring to business.

Mr Clark added: “He’s fitted in really well and as a company we are delighted to be providing training within the workplace to help young employees develop and reach their potential.”