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.

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.

Have you met a billionaire?

(Sarah Dougal – Trainee Resourcer at Bright Purple Resourcing)

Sir Tom Hunter, 51, married, 3 children and Scotland’s first home grown billionaire.  Someone you could only read about? Not for my fellow apprentices and I.

Throughout my apprenticeship with Bright Purple I am constantly overwhelmed by the amazing opportunities we are given. Each time they seem to top themselves and most certainly increase the ‘wow’ factor. But this time they have most certainly gone up and beyond in providing us with the most amazing opportunity to date. On the 21st August Craig, Lewis, Marielle, Amanda and myself went on a two hour journey to Irvine to meet with Sir Tom Hunter. Let me ask you, what 18 year olds do you know that are given the opportunity to meet a home grown billionaire and one of the most inspirational men in Scotland?

Since starting Bright Purple it has unlocked a side of me which I didn’t know existed. It has made me realise that I can and will succeed and has made me want things I wouldn’t have even dreamed of. One of the main reasons for this has been inclusion of meeting a huge amount of amazing entrepreneurs throughout the Bright Futures programme including Nick Price himself which has planted the seed in my head of becoming an entrepreneur. Therefore, for me meeting Sir Tom, one of Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurs was beyond amazing and a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Before meeting Sir Tom Hunter I was anxious and wasn’t sure what to expect. ‘Would he be happy about taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to apprentices?’ ‘Would he look down on us?’ these were just a few of the thoughts racing through my head. However, all of my pre-thought judgements vanished as soon as we were greeted by Sir Tom with an unexpected warm welcome of refreshments and biscuits! I was utterly taken aback by how down to earth and ‘normal’ he was which he said is greatly down to his wife. He also spoke to us about his background of selling trainers out of the back of a van and his goals which he successfully achieved, quickly turning him into Scotland’s first home grown billionaire.

As time went on he revealed more and more about his personality, showing just how humble he really was. He didn’t brag or even mention his private jet or the yacht he hires every summer. He simply explained how important it is to have a point in life and to work towards something which he admitted for him when he was younger to be able to get material things but now it’s about his family and being able to give something back to charity. He also touched on his children and explained how he didn’t want to spoil them or have them not work towards something. It was at that point that hit me just how genuine he was. He didn’t want to talk about everything his money has got him but instead he spoke of the other inspirational people he has met and the Hunter Foundation which is his main focus for going forward. I couldn’t believe just how down to earth Sir Tom Hunter was and how he used his success to help others.

Towards the end of our time with Sir Tom, when I didn’t think I could be any more blown anyway he took us downstairs where a foundation project called Entrepreneurial Spark he set up and supports was based. It’s where people like myself who strive to be entrepreneurs all come together, to share thoughts and to help each other with their work ideas. They are provided with all the tools they need but most importantly they are provided with support from others and also from other entrepreneurs who act as mentors. I was completely taken aback as I hadn’t heard of anything like it before and as we were given a tour my mind went into overdrive with all of the entrepreneurial ideas which I have. I may not have a set idea yet but I do know one thing, I will most definitely be getting in touch with the project.I came away from meeting Sir Tom Hunter inspired bursting with ideas for the future. I cannot say thank you enough to Nick, for setting this up for us and to Sir Tom for taking time out to speak with us. I know for certain it will not be something I will be forgetting in hurry.

Sir Tom Hunter – a true inspiration

(Lewis O’Connor – Trainee Resourcer at Bright Purple Resourcing)

Throughout my time at Bright Purple as an apprentice I have been given the chance to meet and also work alongside exceptional people. I have taken a lot from meeting with the likes of Craig Paterson, Jennifer Cheyne and so many other inspirational entrepreneurs. I have since recently completed the programme and have been hard at work within the Corporate Contract Team. I never imagined being given the chance to meet with one of Scotland’s richest men.

Sir Tom Hunter is one of the most successful Scottish entrepreneurs ever. Yesterday myself along with Fellow apprentices Sarah and Craig set of with Marielle (Head of the Apprentice Programme) and Amanda (PR & Marketing) to make the two hour drive to meet with a billionaire. We arrived in style pulling up alongside Sir Tom Hunter’s Range Rover in our Bright Red Ford KA.

I had expectations of what the session with Sir Tom would be like and how I thought a multi-millionaire would interact with Apprentices. My thoughts and opinions were completely scrubbed as within 30 seconds Sir Tom had offered us all a warm welcome a brief background about himself and even a KitKat.

The Meeting with Sir Tom was by far the most interesting and inspirational conversations I have ever had. He spoke of his humble background and how he was able to transform his lifestyle and go on to achieve so much in such a short time. The thing that struck me the most was the fact he did not boast about how much money he had or how many fancy cars he had. Instead he spoke of the Hunter Foundation and the plans he had going forward in wanting to put his money back into helping people around the world.

Sir Tom Hunter spoke to each and every one of us as though we were just as valuable and exciting to meet as the likes of President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Sir David Murray and so many other iconic people. I was blown away by his honesty and will to help others.

I came away from the meeting with even greater ambition and belief in both myself and what I can achieve. I am hugely thankful for the opportunity and cannot thank Sir Tom Hunter enough for his time and advice.

Bright Purple has continued to support me throughout my time and have helped me open so many doors. I have experience which rivals any of my friends and family and for that to I am hugely grateful and proud to be a part of the Bright Futures Apprentice Programme.

World Lithuanian Youth Conference 2012 – Harmony Park, Lithuania – July 2012

(Lina Adukaite – Senior Consultant Bright Purple CEEB region)

Lina Adukaite, Senior Consultant Bright Purple CEEB region, who attended the conference with her colleagues Jurga and Jurate talks about her experiences of the day and the Scottish connection.

 “We are a small nation, therefore, everyone of us have to be ten times as cautious, good, educated and do ten times more than members of large nations,” the Lithuanian President stated at the opening of the Meeting of World Lithuanian Youth 2012. Dalia Grybauskaitė added she would always support those who want to identify with and work for Lithuania, very patriotic and may I say, it made me think that our Scottish counterparts would be of a similar mindset? After all Scots as I have learnt from my time working at Bright Purple, are a fiercely patriotic people!

The ‘Meeting of World Lithuanian Youth 2012’ took place at Harmony Park in Prienai district, of Lithuania. The event was the first of this kind and on this scale, since the independence of Lithuania.

The Festival welcomed everyone regardless of a country of residence, occupation or age. It was a place to have great time and make friends from all over the world. It was a meeting point for those whom “Lithuania” has a special meaning in their hearts.

The World Lithuanian Youth meeting is the youth festival encompassing science, business, and politics and cultural areas. There were more than a dozen areas where over a hundred presentations, meetings and discussions took place. Discussions with well-known figures were open to everyone wishing to share their beliefs and attitudes. The world Lithuanian youth meeting was attended by 3,500 people from more than 30 different countries, that’s an amazing statistic.

The Prime Minister along with the ministers of national defence, justice, foreign affairs and education had a discussion with the young audience on Friday, 13th of July. Discussions took place around business, science, cultural and political topics, creativity workshops, sports events, meetings with prominent people, networking and career fairs, along with an entertainment agenda of film screenings, concerts, plays, and a fashion show were also held over two days. It was a packed agenda!

AMBASSADORS OF THE EVENT:

Ilja Laurs – Founder and Chairman of GetJar, world’s largest independent mobile application store. “European Manager of the Year 2011”, “25 European Tech Leaders”, “Top 40 most influential people in mobile communications”. Ilja speaks on all major telecommunication conferences and is regularly quoted in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNN, CNBC, BBC, Bloomberg and many other news sources. GetJar is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Seattle, the UK and Lithuania.

Dalia Ibelhauptaitė – is a Lithuanian opera, theatre and film director. In 1991, Ibelhauptaitė was invited to the Royal National Theatre Studio in London. She has been in London ever since. Ibelhauptaitė has also given master classes at National Opera Studio and Royal National Theatre Studio in London, is a popular teacher in China, Israel, Holland, France, Los Angeles and India. Ibelhauptaitė married to an English actor Dexter Fletcher.

Andrius Mamontovas – Actor, singer and composer, awarded for Merits to Lithuania, nominated for the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Award, “Street Music Day” ideological leader.

Algirdas Kaušpėdas – is a Lithuanian rock musician, the leader of Lithuanian rock group Antis, an architect and one of the Sąjūdis (Reform Movement of Lithuania) initiators.

Juozas Statkevičius – Lithuania’s most prominent fashion designer. He is the first designer from the Baltics presented his haute couture collections in Paris and the first Lithuanian who has made appearance on glossy pages of Elle and Vogue. His designs are available in New York, London, Tokyo and such stars as Bjork, K. Sadgwick, N. Watts and Princess of Denmark Mary wear them.

Ray Bartkus – is a Lithuanian artist. He is the designer of the Lithuanian 50 Litas bill. Since 1991, he has illustrated for a number of publications, including the New York Times Book Review, Harper’s Magazine, the Wall Street Journaland Time Magazine.

Jonas Valančiūnas – is a 20 years old Lithuanian professional basketball player, currently playing for the Toronto Raptors. He is a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team. Valančiūnas was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Antanas Guoga – is a LithuanianAustralian businessman and professional poker player. Currently a major sponsor of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation.

And the biggest attraction was President (1994-1998) of Costa Rica – José María Figueres Olsen. A businessman and politician after he left the presidency of Costa Rica, he is involved in global issues such as climate change, sustainable development, and technology. He led the World Economic Forum – Concordia 21, and from March 2012 he is The President of organization “Carbon War Room” fighting for climate change.

The Career Fair – was based at the stable’s in Harmony Park and we all thought it sounded very British and very Royal! It is a heated horse arena that conforms to international standards and international horse competitions are often held there.

Our friends at the stable‘s included a variety of some of the biggest companies in Lithuania, as well as an array of International businesses to include Lithuanian Post, Lithuanian Railways, Invest Lithuania, Danske bank, SVYTURYS and UTENOS ALUS breweries, Enterprise Lithuania, Philip Morris Lietuva, Vytautas Magnus University, ISM, Eika, The National Association of Lithuanian electricity and Baltic Legal Solutions, amongst others.

This was a fantastic opportunity to meet many people, many young people who will play a part in the future of Lithuania one day and the Bright Purple brand demonstrated the proactive attitude of our firm and stood out for all to see and we received a lot of compliments for that! Our stand was busy all day long and we met a lot of interesting Lithuanians who had travelled from many continents, shared a lot of our contacts and it didn’t stop there, because after the career fair was over, we decided to enjoy the rest of the event and we were lucky enough to take some salsa lessons with a Lithuanian trainer who was based in Australia!

Why have I been asked to speak about this youth conference by Bright Purple?

Because our CEO Nick Price and Bright Purple have shown their commitment to youth through the very successful and prominent, Bright Futures Programme, they believe in youth and its ability to add value and at the same time, Lithuania is also committed to working hard to secure the future of its youth – seems like a lot of comparison’s to me?

Scotland, like Lithuania is a small country and its youth is critical to its future success as a Nation and therefore making sure that the youth is engaged, inspired and fully motivated to make a difference is vitally important. Lithuania, again like Scotland has many issues with regards to its youth population and both countries have suffered from a lack of exciting opportunities that engages its youth and both have therefore seen an exodus of talent over the years and yet similarly, both countries are always keen to try to attract their national’s back home, bringing new found skills and experiences with them.

What can we learn from each other as both our small nations push to grow in the global economy and how can we achieve the necessary growth, if we lack plentiful skilled talent, with the rights attributes and skills that match our Nation’s ambitions? Without talent we can’t grow, can we? Youth lays at the centre of the puzzle – we must engage and inspire youth and we must give them the opportunities they desire, or we’ll simply see them leave us for more attractive shores.

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Bright Purple’s apprentices and they have shown me that you can very quickly develop talent; I think it’s amazing what our firm has done in just 6 months with 6 young people! It’s even more amazing given the youngsters who started in January 2012 were previously uninspired or without the motivation or drive to continue in to further education, something here in Lithuania we take for granted that all our youngsters will carry on to further education.

Youngsters need to be given the chance to shine, in both our small countries and in Lithuania there are already many young people making their mark in industry and politics, but we need more opportunities for them. How much more can be done in Scotland to engage youth, I would suggest a lot

Can Scotland match Lithuania and hold its own World Youth Conference – why not try and see what happens and give youth a voice on a big scale, just as we have done so successfully here in my home country of Lithuania.

Bright Purple – flying the flag for Youth Unemployment

(Thomas Wilson – Apprentice at Bright Purple Resourcing)

 Tuesday the 17th of July 2012 seemed like it was going to end like a normal day. But at Bright Purple we don’t do normal, we do EXCEPTIONAL.

 Marielle, myself and my fellow apprentices were in a meeting discussing an expected visit the next day from Angela Constance, the Minister for Youth Employment, which in itself was quite a nerve-wracking prospect. However Amanda Jeffrey, Marketing and Social Media Manager at Bright Purple burst in to the meeting room out of breath and shaking like mad! Amanda announced to us all that Alex Salmond, our First Minister was actually coming to the Bright Purple office to meet us – now I was really nervous.

Hearing the news took a few minutes to settle in to be honest. When I got home my parents were over the moon, as it wasn’t just me who just received good news, my brother had been told that he would be joining the Livingston FC first team for a friendly match against Brechin City.

As I had to come in to the office at 08.15am I had to get myself up at 6.30am, which I can assure you is the earliest I have ever had to get up in my life! I arrived to work at 08.10am and to say I was drenched from the unrelenting Scottish rain is an understatement. It wasn’t a good start to the morning as I had to go and buy a new shirt! But saying that it was really important for me to look my best, I was meeting the First Minister and the Minister for Youth Employment and if it meant spending money to meet them, then that’s what I had to do.

When I walked down to the Bright Purple Academy I couldn’t believe my eyes, there was so much media downstairs it was really mind blowing.

When Angela and the First Minister arrived I was quite shocked, as I had seen Alex Salmond on television many times and in the news papers often and it was a really weird feeling to see him in person and in our offices. Sitting down and speaking to the First Minister and the Minster for Youth Employment about my experience of life as a Scottish youth is a sentence I thought I would never write in my lifetime. It was a very unusual feeling because as we were speaking the photographers were clicking away like mad on their cameras! I could tell that First Minister and Ms. Constance were both very interested in what we were saying and it was such a huge honour to have them here at Bright Purple.

It was an incredible feeling that such high profile people in our country were actually interested what Bright Purple were doing and therefore in me and my fellow apprentices. I think that we have definitely given them something to think about and it is all down to the fantastic Bright Purple team.

Without them I wouldn’t be here today. Not only did they take a chance on me in January 2012 and delivered so much to me over 6 months, but after I didn’t get the full time post, they gave me the opportunity to stay on for another month to help them with the Database Migration.

I can’t thank them enough for all of the opportunity they have put in my path.