Pictured: David Massey (left) giving Ronnie MacRae, CEO of Communities Housing Trust, a platinum Supporters Award.
Businesses across the UK returned after the Easter break to find they were the recipient of the newly launched Supporters Awards from Inverness-based The Apprentice Store.
The Supporters Awards have been designed to demonstrate the social impact of choosing IT services from The Apprentice Store and to recognise the contribution of those businesses who continue to support The Apprentice Store in its mission to create sustainable employment for young people in IT in the Highlands.
In total, 62 businesses have been recognised, including two platinum awards (Cairn Consulting and Communities Housing Trust), two gold awards (dbs Projects and Connecting Carers), three silver awards (Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, North West Marine Ltd, Inverness Computer Centre) and 11 bronze awards (Sonas Group, The Cairngorm Brewery Co Ltd, Sight Action, ILM Highland, Ben Nevis Distillery, Whale-like-fish, Safety, Welding & Lifting (International) Ltd (SWL), Cru Holdings, Calico, Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust and Carlton Clubs).
Speaking about the Supporters Awards, David Massey, Managing Director and Founder of The Apprentice Store, said:
“Since we founded The Apprentice Store in 2016, we have created employment for 16 people.
“Today we have nine full-time members of staff and this would not be possible without the support of our clients.
“As a social enterprise we do not have shareholders and all profit is invested into our social purpose.
“Every purchase made from The Apprentice Store, however small, from a single licence of Microsoft 365 to a complete CRM system, helps to pay a salary for a young person.
“The Supporters Awards is a way for us to say thank you to our clients but also to tangibly show the social impact of their support.”
The awards will be presented every year and are presented to every business that contributes at least one week of an apprentice salary.
The awards are structured as follows:
Platinum: 100% of salary
Gold: 75% of salary
Silver: 50% of salary
Bronze: 25% of salary
5 Stars: 10% of salary
4 Stars: 8% of salary
3 Stars: 6% of salary
2 Stars: two weeks of salary
1 Star: one week of salary
Communities Housing Trust is one of two recipients of a platinum Supporters Award.
Ronnie MacRae, CEO of Communities Housing Trust, was delighted to receive the award:
“As a fellow social enterprise, we share many values with The Apprentice Store.
“Sustainable employment goes hand in hand with sustainable and affordable housing and we are proud to partner with The Apprentice Store to help young people to develop a career in IT.”
The second recipient of the platinum Supporters Award, Ian Moore from Cairn Consulting, has referred many businesses to The Apprentice Store over the last year.
Speaking about The Apprentice Store, he said:
“The fact I feel more than comfortable recommending The Apprentice Store to my clients speaks volumes about the quality of the services provisioned.
“My business can’t afford to recommend poor services or solutions –The Apprentice Store provides the polar opposite.”
Gold support award winner, Roisin Connolly from Connecting Carers in Dingwall, praised the initiative saying:
“IT support is essential for so many organisations but choosing the right provider can be really difficult.
“We’ve always had fantastic service from the team at The Apprentice Store and we are proud that we are making a contribution towards the salary for a young person.
“It is a great idea to show businesses the positive impact of their decisions through the Supporters Awards.”
Bronze supporter award recipient Duncan MacLeod, General Manager at SWL Ltd in Invergordon, added:
“It’s good to know that our support is benefitting the career development of young apprentices.
“They all do a sterling job for The Apprentice Store and we are pleased to have the benefit of a trusted IT support team.”