A night to remember

On Wednesday 21st November we attended Scotland’s Apprentice Awards 2012 which held at the Glasgow Science Centre.

The evening started with a drinks reception in the main lobby, you could feel the excitement in the air and everyone was dressed in their best finery. After a few sparkling wines we were ushered into the large IMAX auditorium where the award presentations were to take place.  We took our seats and the evening was kicked off by Sally Magnusson our compere for the evening, Sally then introduced Angela Constance – Minister for Youth Employment as our keynote speaker.  I have heard Ms Constance speak on many occasions but tonight seemed extra special as it was an event celebrating those who have put all the hard work in to making these apprenticeships work.  The first category was Small Employer, the one we were up for.  Sally read out the finalist names and a bit about each company, she then announced the winner, and it was us!!!  Our two Apprentices Sarah and Craig took to the stage to collect the award amidst a roar of applause.  Photo by Kieran Chambers Photography

We are absolutely delighted to win this award and is great recognition for the hard work that has been put into our Bright Futures Programme from everyone involved the apprentices, mentors, staff, trainers, inspirational speakers and many more, thank you everyone.  We would also like to thank all the Apprentices involved with the Bright Futures Programme, including those that have moved on from Bright Purple; Deonne Budge, Becki  Munro, Thomas Wilson and Lewis O’Connor.

Congratulations to all the winners there were some great and inspirational stories!

Photo by Kieran Chambers Photography

Comments from Craig Lamb – Apprentice – Bright Futures Programme

When I got asked to attend Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards I was honoured, the whole experience was like nothing I have ever done before. Sally Magnusson kicked off the event and explained to all the finalists what would happen throughout the evening. Bright Purple was in the category for the small employer’s award along with two other companies. When Sally Magnusson said “And the winner of Small Employers category is……BRIGHT PURPLE” there was a roar of joy from all five Bright Purple staff attending the event. Sarah and myself had to make the long walk to the stage were we had to collect the award, when we reached the stage we were handed the award and given a round of applause from the audience. It was a great evening a very successful one for Bright Purple.

Comments from Sarah Dougal – Apprentice – Bright Futures Programme

This time last year I was in 6th year at High school, unhappy and under confident with so many plans to kick start my career but no idea how to get there. I find it completely mind-blowing that myself and Craig attended the Apprenticeship Awards at the Glasgow Science Centre. Not only were we given the opportunity to attend this inspiring event we also picked up an award for the best Small Employer which myself and Craig went up to the stage to collect.

When Bright Purple was announced as the winner I was overcome by emotions. It was a reality check of how far all the apprentices and I have come and how dramatic and life changing the experiences we have been given have been. When I actually sat back and thought about everything we have achieved, being presented with the award last night made it all so worthwhile and highlighted how far we have come. I felt like all our hard work and determination had paid off and was recognised by so many people.

It was an amazing experience and one I know for certain I won’t forget. It was my first chance to attend Business Awards and I don’t want it to be the last. It just goes to show how much we have all changed and improved within less than a year. We knew what we wanted and, we got it.

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Intern Insight – Bright Purple Lithuania

Hi everyone! My name is Skaiste and I’m studying at Vilnius Lyceum. Many people say that it is the best school in Lithuania and actually it is! I am participating in the internship project organized by “School of Success”.

When I found out that I had been accepted for project I was extremely happy. I wanted to experience what real work means, to develop my skills and gain an understanding of a profession that maybe something I want to do when I leave school. But as the big day approached I felt a little bit scared. I had checked Bright Purple’s website to learn more about the company and the first impression was very good. I liked the ideas and the values of the company and was looking forward to finding out more, so I was waiting for my first day impatiently. As I said, I was excited and a little bit scared at the same time but on my arrival I was greeted by four friendly ladies: Egle, Lina, Jurga and Jurate who instantly put me at ease.

The first few days were full of emotion, meeting new people and being in working environment all very new to me. I met via video conference with Diana (HR), Amanda (Marketing & Social Media), Sarah (Apprentice), Megan (Office Administrator) and Nick (CEO) all based from the Edinburgh head office. They were amazing! My English is not perfect but they created a really comfortable and friendly environment, so I just forgot all my worries. I learned a lot of new things, like presentation skills, CPD. Also I learned more about social media, marketing, diversity in the workplace. These will all be very useful in for my future.

On Wednesday I visited a client with Egle, Jurate and Jurga. It was a very interesting experience to get an insight into how to conduct yourself in front of clients in a professional manner.  This is something I will definitely find useful in the future; I can also use this experience when I attend interviews.

To sum up, these few days gave me a lot of food for thought. I am really glad to be here. Thank you guys, you are awesome!

First Lithuanian Intern arrives at Bright Purple

Sėkmės Mokykla, http://www.schoolofsuccess.org/en the School of Success is an NGO based in Vilnius in Lithuania that specializes in non-formal education and aims to contribute in bringing up a society of successful, active and responsible youth in Lithuania.

– Simona laiconaite, School of Success Simona Laiconaitė, one of the team at School of Success explains that School of Success has been organizing educational events/trainings for senior students since 2007, regarding topics of social competences and personal development.

What inspires us? Our volunteers do not lack energy or in fact creativity and the teenagers that get involved do so with a passion to participate in every project, seminar, conference and training session.

In May 2012 School of Success organised a pilot project of student‘s (10-graders) to take part in an internship with local or international companies based in Lithuania. The idea for introducing work experience week to Lithuania came from Ben Harvey. Ben is originally from the UK where he worked in a senior position for Price Waterhouse and Ben has now been living in Lithuania for the past 15 years running his own business called Growing Talent, acting as a leadership coach to a variety of businesses.

The core element of the project is to provide ‘real-life’ work experience for a tenth-grader in a company, cultural organisation, NGO or governmental institution and according to the sphere of the interns interest‘s. The project is aimed to introduce students to the actual concept of work through the range of organizations from different operational sectors and to inspire and motivate them think about their future career’s while still being in the safety of the school environment.

The original pilot was a great success, because students could see the value of trying out a profession they were interested in and understanding whether their vision coincided with the reality on the day. Teachers were proud to see that their students came back to school much more motivated than they were before and companies claimed to have gotten fresh ideas and viewpoints that they’d never thought of before.

Therefore, School of Success didn’t waste any time in organizing a second batch of students’ ready to take on the challenges of the internship. It’s the School of Successes belief that the project will inspire and help young people to make the right decisions in choosing their future studies and making first career steps, understand what competences they lack to become good professionals able to add value to the companies they join and also how to improve themselves through their experiences.

This time the School of Success is happy to announce that students’ internship project goes international with the help of Bright Purple team in Vilnius and Edinburgh. On Monday 5th November, Egle and the Bright Purple team in Vilnius will welcome Skaiste, she is a 16 year old student at Vilnius Lyceum – http://www.licejus.lt/index.php/english,2 and Skaiste has a full week planned for her, working with both the Lithuanian team, as well as the team at head quarters in Scotland. Quite an experience for this young lady and one that School of Success hopes will inspire her to return to school full of new ideas and thinking.

For Bright Purple it’s a return to welcoming young people in to the company following the success of the Bright Futures Programme – https://brightfuturesprogramme.wordpress.com/ and you will be able to follow Skaiste’s week on the blog pages. Skaiste will also spend some time learning from one of Bright Purple’s hugely successful young apprentices, Sarah Dougal and we are certain the two girls will have a lot in common and work well together.

We hope this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship between the School of Success and Bright Purple for years to come.