For many young people, securing an apprenticeship in their chosen trade is the first step on their career journey.
After completing his exams and leaving Bridge of Don Academy aged 16, Lee Youngson was eager to get on the first rung of the career ladder and had set his sights on an apprenticeship before a local company realised his potential.
Lee said: “I realised early on how important it was to get a CV built so I tried to be proactive in my approach whilst keeping my options open.
“I didn’t wait for jobs to be advertised but preferred to send my CV in to companies speculatively, and that’s how I came into contact with Aiken Group. I came in for an interview and was offered a job starting in June – I was delighted.”
Aiken Group is a leading and innovative supplier of integrated, out-sourced and solutions-based engineering and specialist services, principally accommodation, engineering, construction and modification and technology and project management.
Lee spent almost three months working at Aiken Group’s global headquarters overlooking Aberdeen Harbour in Torry. He then started his apprenticeship through nearby Tullos Training in August, combining a three-year college course with on-the-job learning.
During the third year of his training, Lee was named best third year refrigeration apprentice at the 2012 Tullos Training Awards.
Lee successfully completed his training and, soon after leaving college, he was given a van of his own and headed out to represent the company by completing jobs by himself.
Lee said: “It was an amazing opportunity to be given and the faith the company showed in me so early on really gave me the confidence to go out there, get stuck in and continue my learning.
“That hasn’t really stopped and I’m now seven years into my career with Aiken Group. I have been given the opportunity to progress my career within the organisation and that too has been valuable in helping me realise my potential.”
Having started out in 2009 as an apprentice HVAC and refrigeration engineer, Lee has now moved on to be a project engineer with a remit for the whole division and its onshore, offshore and overseas work.