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Greenock apprentice Gary McNelis has scooped the top prize in a NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) awards ceremony.
He was among five young people who were celebrated at an event following their successful completion of their Modern Apprenticeships.
The health board offers apprenticeships across a wide range of jobs to help young people access quality training opportunities in partnership with Glasgow Clyde College.
The programme offers on-the-job training in roles such as healthcare support workers, administrators, medical laboratory assistants, multi-skilled technicians and assistant clinical technologists.
In addition to the five graduates, another 75 are set to be recruited in the next six months.
At the ceremony, Gary McNelis was declared Unison and Unite Modern Apprentice of the Year for demonstrating consistently outstanding ability and commitment during his training. In addition, three runner up awards, were also presented.
Gary, who is from Greenock, was delighted to be announced overall winner award. Training as a multi-skilled technician at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Gary has gone from strength to strength over the period of his apprenticeship. He has scooped a number of accolades on the way, including NHSGGC Engineering Apprentice of the Year, the 2016 Health Facilities Scotland Recognition Award and the 2016 Hammerman Award for Engineering Student of the Year.
Gary said: “I was so surprised when I was announced as the winner; I nearly fainted! I want to thank all the tradesmen who have helped me in my apprenticeship. They really are like a family to me and it’s a great atmosphere to learn in. I hope I have a long career within the NHS after my time is up in August. This award really has made my Christmas, or even my year!”
John Brown CBE, NHSGGC chairman, said: “Today is about celebrating the achievements of our trainees and recognising the hard work, commitment and the enthusiasm with which you have approached your training, development and duties.
“We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have the largest NHS apprenticeship programme in Scotland which offers opportunities to young people across hospital, community and corporate services.
“It is a great privilege for us to be able to support the development of careers and to provide the opportunity to put talents to use in delivering a high standard of service for the benefit of our patient population. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate those of who have now graduated from the programme, and all of our award nominees and winners.”
Alistair Rodgers of Glasgow Clyde College said: “Throughout his time at the college Gary has developed a great thirst for knowledge and has always showed a great eagerness and enthusiasm to learn and continually improve his knowledge, ability and experience with the goal of becoming an excellent multi-skilled Technical Engineer.
“This passion has followed him through into his Engineering Apprenticeship where there has been a requirement for him to work as a multi-skilled technician, this is something that Gary has embraced with his usual enthusiasm which had made him a stand out candidate throughout his time at the College.”
Frances Carmichael, UNISON assistant branch secretary, said: “Unison and Unite were delighted to sponsor the Modern Apprentice of the Year award again this year. I am sure we would all agree that this is an impressive list of accolades in recognition of his achievements and his attitude towards his studies. He has a great passion for what he does and takes great care to do it well.
“Gary has shown great commitment, enthusiasm, knowledge and ability and I can clearly see why he has earned the respect and admiration of his manager and colleagues.”
Hosted at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital’s Teaching & Learning building, the event was attended by health and college staff along with UNISON & UNITE representatives who presented the awards on behalf of members.