From education to employment

John Mather Trust honours Ayrshire College apprentices

Ayrshire College

Ayrshire College alumni had an evening to remember as they were recognised by the John Mather Trust at a special awards event at the College’s Kilmarnock Campus on Wednesday, March 6.

College staff, family, friends and employers came along to share their pride in the students’ success stories at the ceremony during Scottish Apprenticeship Week — which celebrates the benefits that apprentices bring to businesses, individuals and the economy.

The John Mather Trust has worked with the College for a number of years and generously provides support for our students who have successfully secured a job, gained an apprenticeship or set up their own business in their chosen field within the past year.

John Mather set up the Trust in 1996 to help young people in the West of Scotland get started in their trade. Since then, more than a thousand students at Ayrshire College have benefitted from its generosity.

This year, 169 students from aeronautical, engineering and renewables, horticulture, motor vehicle, trades, beauty therapy, complementary therapies, hairdressing, make-up artistry and hospitality and professional cookery, all received tools of the trade.

Special guest speaker Mike Stewart, from Storm Aviation, delivered an inspiring talk on the future of the industry, while Richard Mullen, a former student and John Mather Trust recipient, shared his personal journey to success as Project Manager and Technical and Apprenticeship Training Manager at EGGER (UK) Limited.

But the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for Zandile Lynch, who was awarded the 2024 Apprentice of the Year prize.

Now excelling in her new role with fabricators Wallace McDowall Ltd, she was a much-deserved winner of the award, which was sponsored and presented by Ayr Guildry.

Angela Cox, Principal and Chief Executive, Ayrshire College, said:

“These occasions are always valuable in reminding us of the talent that we have across Ayrshire and the value of being able to support that talent to develop. I am extremely proud that Ayrshire College has been able to do that.”

The ceremony not only celebrated individual achievements but also highlighted the collaborative efforts between the College, the John Mather Trust, and the wider Ayrshire economy in nurturing the growth and success of young people in the region.

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