Media Release: Education Secretary sees Zoey (21) begin her joinery career during Scottish Apprenticeship Week


MICHAEL Russell MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, today congratulated Zoey Rennie (21) on completing her Modern Apprenticeship and embarking on a career as a time served joiner.

The Cabinet Secretary visited Zoey in Elgin during Scottish Apprenticeship Week (5 – 9 September), which aims to help employers across Scotland better understand the benefits of taking on an MA and how to get support from Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in doing so.

Mr Russell commented: “Zoey is a great example of a young person who has followed the Modern Apprenticeship route to a successful conclusion – to the benefit of both her own future career prospects and her employer.

“Zoey is a fantastic young person who got interested in joinery at an early age and qualifying as a Modern Apprentice has helped her fulfil her dream of working at something she loves.

“She is a great credit to her employer and demonstrates the very real benefit to business of taking on an MA.

“We want to continue working with business to support them and our young people to the benefit of Scotland’s economy.”

Farmer’s daughter, Zoey, was so set on becoming a joiner she was tackling woodworking jobs around the farm when she was a child.

She was delighted to be able to start a Modern Apprenticeship with a local joinery company after leaving school.

However, her employer had to make lay-offs during the downturn, Zoey among them.

She wondered, then, if her career hopes would be dashed, but thanks to the Adopt an Apprentice programme, funded by Skills Development Scotland, her recruitment by Moray Council enabled her to complete her training.

Zoey said: “I’m thrilled this week to have become a qualified joiner, and to be starting full-time work with Moray Council. There’s a great sense of achievement and of looking forward to a rewarding and fulfilling career.”

SDS operations director, Danny Logue; chair of Moray Council’s Children’s and Young People’s Committee, Cllr Eric McGillivray and Construction Skills representative, Gillian Mackenzie, all joined the Cabinet Secretary in congratulating Zoey.

Cllr McGillivray said that a key Moray Council priority was to try and retain young people in the area. “Zoey is a great example of what can be achieved by agencies working together,” he said.

“She will be part of a skilled workforce where she will continue to develop her skills and enjoy a productive career. I hope her example encourages others to look at the opportunities are available through such programmes as the Modern Apprentice scheme.”

Skills Development Scotland can help businesses through the Modern Apprenticeship programme and provide funding incentives such as the Employer Recruitment Initiative.

This can help businesses access up to £2,000 if they take on a Modern Apprentice who has previously found it difficult to secure employment or apprenticeship training.

Employers should call 0800 7836000 or visit for more information.


Please call Caroline Rham, SDS External Communications on 0141 285 6108; mobile 07818 594824.

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Contact: caroline Rham
Phone: 07818594824