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.

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.

Inspiring young purple people, inspiring Scotland

(By Andrew Muirhead, CEO of Inspiring Scotland)

On Thursday 12th July I returned to the Inspiring Scotland office and I felt distinictevely bright purple.

I had just attended the Bright Purple Academy’s first ever graduation ceremony for their group of 6 Bright Futures Apprentices and met their Graduates; a group of motivated, enthusiastic, committed, professional, engaged and inspirational young people – I was hugely impressed.

Like Bright Purple’s CEO Nick Price, and the rest of his team, I’m passionate about tackling some of the countries toughest social issues in a strategic and collaborative way.  The Youth unemployment in this country is frightening.  But what is even more scary is the outlook for the next generations if we don’t do anything.

At Inspiring Scotland we’ve invested over £20 million in a fund which has supported over 12,000 young people to be in the best possible place to secure a job, place in education or training.  To do this we’ve formed a unique partnership across the private, public and not-for-profit sector.  One sector can’t solve this issue on it’s own, we need everyone pulling together in the same direction and only then will we  begin to make a significant and sustained difference.

Congratulations to the Academy’s Graduates and thank you to Bright Purple for allowing me to share in the experience.

Nick Price, Bright Purple’s CEO commented: “ the work that Andrew Muirhead and the team of dedicated people at Inspiring Scotland can’t be underestimnated and the organisation makes a significant difference to young lives across Scotland on a daily basis.”

He went on to say “We were delighted when Andrew came to Bright Purple’s Academy to meet and talk with the apprentices, who at that time were far greener than they are today and he delivered an inspirational session with them, but that’s what we expected because he’s an inspirational man and we thank him for dedicating his time to our young people, who benefited greatly from it.”

You can see more about Inspiring Scotland and the wonderful work they do here at – http://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/

How to become a new person in six months

(Deonne Budge  – Apprentices, Bright Futures Programme)

This is a photograph of me in my first weeks of January 2012 as a new apprentice with Bright Purple and with my friend and fellow apprentice Becki – she’s the one in the red ear muffs!

Six months have passed and it is now the end of the apprentice programme and it has not long been announced that I have gained a permanent place here at Bright Purple. Looking back prior to January 2012 I was working in a job that I did not like, I didn’t have a career plan but everything changed when I came to Bright Purple and over the last six months, I have done things I dreamed of doing when I first arrived back in January. My own journey here as an apprentice has now ended so quickly and it has been an exceptional and emotional journey. I know other people in their late teens and early 20’s by just getting a small part of the opportunities I have had working in this environment, would help them to think more positively about their own futures.

One of the best part’s of my experiences I would have to say is having had the opportunity of working with the wonderful Emma Hill. Emma was my mentor for the first three months and I just don’t think I would be sitting where I am just now if it wasn’t for her. She is such an inspiration to me and every time I thought I couldn’t do something, Emma helped me believe that I could.

At the start of the programme I would never have written a blog on my own and all my life I have had difficulties with reading and writing, but it is something that Bright Purple has continued to help me with and also helped me the importance of learning to communicate in a professional manner.

We, the six apprentices all were told when first starting in January that there were going to be two places made available in the sales team at the end of the programme. I always worked hard and I wanted to make sure I gave myself a chance of gaining a permanent place at Bright Purple, but as the decision day came closer and closer I decided to myself that sales wasn’t for me. I loved the company and really wanted to work in Bright Purple, but couldn’t see myself in a sales role any longer.

So I plucked up the courage and decided to tell Marielle that I was thinking of moving on to do something else, to try to gain more experience in administration or in a reception and use my organisation skills, which is something I am good at and love doing. When I first told Marielle my thoughts, she said to me to do what I think is right for me and so I started looking for a new position half way to decision day, but it was really hard and almost everything I applied for I never got a response, it was very disappointing.

When the day finally came, D-day as we all started to call it, I knew that I wasn’t going to gain a place here given I had made it known I didn’t want a sales role and so I was just waiting to see who was going to be the lucky ones. Four of us, Lewis, Sarah, Craig and I got taken into the Academy and we didn’t know what was going on, then Marielle said we have 4 envelopes with each of your names on it and inside it ether says you have a place or not. For the people who are not successful, we will help you to find something else – imagine how you would feel?

I thought to myself this is strange, so I just opened my card and it said that I has been successful and waited to see who else had got a place. It turned out that all four of us had a place and we were all excited, emotional and over the moon. As we all sat and took in the good news and I was still thinking to myself, if I don’t want to do sales what would I be doing if I didn’t get this chance?

At Bright Purple there are opportunities to work your way up to be the best, we are taught that the sky is the limit in this company and it is only our own lack of desire and drive to be a success story that can stop us moving forward. So for now I am helping our database team with the transfer of data from our old technology system to the new system. Whilst I am working with this team, I am also completing my Scottish Vocational Level 3 in Business and Administration – still learning while working.

Neil Lafferty is the Sales Director in Bright Purple and is someone who is always very busy and is always easy to talk with and I spoke to Neil about doing duties that a PA would need to do and this will help give me the evidence that I need to complete my level 3. This is something I have only dreamed of completing and to think those six months ago I was struggling to come across in a professional manner and didn’t think I would make it to the end of the programme against such exceptional and confident young people, like my five other apprentice colleagues. Now taking the initiative to work closely with Neil Lafferty our Sales Director and learning about the new technology system, where I will hopefully get involved in helping to deliver the training to all new staff. If this is what I can do in six months, then I can’t wait to see what the next six months will bring.

Dreams can come true – if you believe in you

(Sarah Dougal – Apprentice, Bright Futures Programme)

Friday the 1st of June may have just been an ordinary day for most people but for us, the 6 apprentices at Bright Purple it was our very own D-Day.

It was the day that Bright Purple had my future in their hands and there was nothing I could do to control or influence it. I can safely say that on that Friday morning my own nerves were certainly beginning to show and the only thing on all of our minds was the decision which would make a huge impact on our lives.

As time went on excruciatingly slowly, the more I began to think about the conclusions of the day – would I get the full-time position or would I not? Finally, at 2’Oclock much to my relief the wheels were set in motion and we were gradually taken in one by one for our separate and final interviews, which was our last chance to impress and prove that we were future Bright Purple people. During our interviews we were faced with having to justify why we felt we should be offered a permanent position to Marielle – Head of the Bright Futures Programme,  Diana – HR, Caroline and Monica – directors of DGM and who have taken us through our SVQ and of course Nick Price – CEO. I can safely say that at the age of 18 having to prove that I was worthy of a place at Bright Purple to the man who owns and drives it, most definitely wins first place for being the most nerve racking experience I have ever encountered. But nothing could have prepared me for the nail biting wait which was ahead, as we had to hang on until 5 O’clock, after all the interviews had been completed until we learned our fate!

With 5 O’clock quickly approaching anxiety was taking over and we were all focused on one thing – becoming a Bright Purple person. Two of our apprentice colleagues had decided that their futures were not at Bright Purple and didn’t want to follow a career in sales, but that still meant 2 of us would be leaving with them. Our nerves spiralled when Marielle split the 4 remaining apprentices into smaller groups and sent 2 of us into the Thinkubator and the other 2 into the boardroom downstairs. For this I was paired with Craig Lamb – A.K.A the “Jobfather”. I can honestly say I went from being anxious to distraught after only spending a few minutes with Craig, as positive thinking most definitely was not his strong point at that moment in time!

Thankfully, after only a short time we were called downstairs into the academy along with my fellow apprentices where finally we would find out if we were going to be successful or not.

Never did I think I would be almost too nervous to open an envelope but on Friday 1st June I most definitely was. The four remaining apprentices were each handed a plain envelope which inside held our fate – a terrifying thought with a celebratory conclusion!

I, Lewis, Deonne and Craig’s dreams came true as we were confronted with a card informing us that we had actually all earned a permanent place at Bright Purple and that the firm had decided that it would recruit 4 instead of 2 full time staff to add to the existing Bright Purple team.

The feelings I felt are indescribable in print, but I can honestly say I am forever grateful for the mind blowing opportunity which Bright Purple has given me which I will now grab with both hands. Although I have secured a permanent position at bright purple it will not decrease the amount of hard work I will put in. I am determined, success hungry and will not let Nick, Marielle or anyone who has believed in me down. There’s no limit to what I can achieve and I have everyone at Bright Purple to thank for helping me realise that. Bright Purple has opened an incredible amount of doors for me and has been the stepping stones I needed to get me onto the career ladder where the only way is up – success is now in my reach!There is one saying I most definitely believe in and it’s the saying I said consistently to myself on Friday. It is – ‘what’s meant for you won’t go by you’ and Bright purple is unquestionably for me.

From raw talent to young professionals

(Stuart Whiting – Mentor, Bright Purple)

It’s hard to believe that over 6 months have passed since we sat in the academy with 12 youngsters deciding who would become the Bright Purple Apprentices. Thinking back now we couldn’t have chosen any better the 6 we decided on have been a pleasure and an inspiration to have in the office.

In the beginning the apprentices were very much “raw” talent they had fantastic personal qualities and work ethic but at times you could tell they were new to a professional environment. Initially many lacked self confidence and initiative but they all quickly realised the opportunity they had and quickly rose to the challenge. The apprentices are all from different backgrounds and have very different personalities but it’s clear to see now that they are all very close and many new friendships have been forged.

During the apprentice scheme I have mentored Tom who has always been fantastic to work with. Tom gives 100% anytime he is given a task, never complains and picks up information quickly. Sadly he has decided that the Recruitment Industry isn’t for him, however I am sure he will be a massive success wherever he decides to go. I am sure everyone will agree with me that Tom is almost unrecognisable now in comparison to when he first started. During his talk at the apprentice open evening Tom summed this up himself with “before Bright Purple I was a Boy now I feel I am a Man” this couldn’t be more accurate. It has been a fantastic experience for me personally working with Tom and I now consider him to be a good friend and from a personal point of view will be gutted to see him leave. I can honestly say that I am extremely proud to have worked with Tom and he should also be extremely proud of himself with all he has achieved.

Massive congratulations’ to Lewis, Craig, Sarah and Deonne you have all worked extremely hard over the last 6 months and have earned your permanent places at Bright Purple. It has been great working with you and I look forward to continuing to work with you over the coming months and years. I think it’s safe to say that all 6 of the Apprentices now have bright futures. The skills they have learnt over the last 6 months and their new found confidence will put them in a strong position moving forward be it with Bright Purple or elsewhere.

The future is BRIGHT, the future is PURPLE

(Lewis O’Connor  – Apprentice, Bright Futures Programme)

The time is fast approaching and soon the famous 6 will no longer be a team within Bright Purple.  Since January it has been quite a journey, as individuals we have all had great successes but united together as a team we have enjoyed a lot more. The time is not of disappointment or sadness but a time of celebration and excitement.

Throughout the duration of the programme we have all been put through our paces and came out on top. We have been gifted with so many once in a life time opportunities which I will forever be grateful for. I plan to use the knowledge which I have built up over the programme and put it straight back into the business. My time as an apprentice has been one of huge challenges, hard work and great rewards. I think this is replicated throughout the company and something I want to be a part of and I am pleased to say that I have been given yet another opportunity by Bright Purple which I consider being the biggest and that is to become a fully established member of the team.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in moulding me in to the success hungry career driven young man I am today. If it wasn’t for the hard work of Marielle and all the mentors then I don’t think I would have gone on to achieve what I have in such a short period of time. I would like to thank the wider Bright Purple team for their input throughout the programme in allowing us to learn from them and ask them thousands of questions. Both Caroline and Monica from DGM Training have been absolutely fantastic to all 6 apprentices and we owe a lot to them for their support, perseverance and wiliness to help. I also believe that all the guest speakers we have met with over the last 6 months have all made an impact on each apprentice in some way and I am thankful for their time. A massive thanks has to go to Gordon Dow owner of the Power Lunch Club (http://www.powerlunchclub.co.uk/) for supporting the Bright Future’s Apprentice scheme to the full and opening a lot of doors for myself and the other apprentices. He has taken great interest in our progress throughout the journey and has helped us along at every opportunity.

More importantly I would like to thank each and every single one of the apprentices. The list of reasons why is never ending but to state a few, the guys have always been there to help and support one another. We have stuck by each other through thick and thin.

Celebrating the many successes together we have also shared a few bumps along the way, but we remain stronger than ever.

I Look forward to what lies in front of me, and I know going forward I have the full backing of the Bright Purple team and 3 of my fellow apprentice colleagues. For those apprentices leaving Bright Purple I wish them all the success. I fully believe Becki will find the dream job she is looking for and will take what she has learnt at Bright Purple and use it as an effective tool going forward and as for Thomas, I know he will go on to be successful. He has all the determination in the world and is extremely hard working. Who knows, one day he may be super fit living the life in Australia as a personal trainer as he has always dreamed of.

Bright Purple has given me the belief to stop dreaming and actually go out there and make things happen. Nick Price has lead by example and is a living example of exactly what can be achieved through hard work, and the will to be successful.

A quote given to me by the girls at DGM Training “The best way to predict the future is to create it” I will use this throughout my life and fully believe I will go on to have a great career.