APPRENTICES from a Borders timber company are in the running for a major award.

A total of 19 apprentices are employed by Earlston-based BSW Timber Group.

And they will attend the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery on November 16, where they will be up against three other companies in the Large Employer category.

Damien Yeates, who is chief executive of awards organisers Skills Development Scotland, said: “This year we had a record number of entries for the awards and the calibre of the finalists is quite simply outstanding.

“Employers like BSW Timber Group are tremendous examples of the success of apprenticeship training and it is great to see their personal and professional commitment to work-based learning being recognised in this way.

“I want to wish the company the very best for the Awards.”

The family-owned company views apprentices as vital to its future and a core part of succession planning.

Group learning and development manager Tony Lockey believes apprenticeship brings local communities into BSW Timber Group’s workplaces in the Borders and other locations

He told us: “We feel we are training our own ready built people who are encouraged to get their qualifications and we offer good quality jobs in rural areas, which are sometimes challenging to find.”

BWS Timber Group has 510 employees and 19 apprentices in Scotland, including the country’s first female saw doctor.

The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards are organised by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with Arnold Clark.

Arnold Clark apprentice recruitment manager Suzanne Sherry said: “Arnold Clark has always understood the value of apprenticeships and the importance of nurturing young talent.

“This year our apprenticeship programme is bigger than ever, with over 300 vacancies in the company.

“As part of that commitment, we’re delighted to sponsor the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards.

“It’s so inspiring to see how dedicated employers are to apprenticeships and how many hardworking young people benefit from the apprenticeship journey, going on to have long and successful careers in a variety of different industries.

“They really are the future workforce of Scotland.”