AN Ardrossan man has picked up a top gong for his work as an apprentice with a well-known local business.

Steven McLean, who works with John Robertson and Sons, voluntarily put himself in the spotlight after putting his name forward for the Meat & Poultry modern apprenticeship as, in the words of his human resource manager, Jacqui Graham, this was the company’s “first foray into the world of SVQ for staff.”

To be the ‘guinea-pig’, working for a business with a proud history of five generations of hands-on, hard graft, style of management and soon to celebrate 150 years since it first opened its doors, is quite a responsibility but one which Steven proved more than capable of shouldering.

With the business having recently expanded its further processing at an additional site, he found himself on occasions having to spin many plates at the one time but never once shied away from the all-important knowledge and understanding tasks set and ensuring he was well prepared for the observation visits from his assessor.

Gordon Wallace, his assessor said: “His PPE, work place and surrounding area on each visit, regardless of time of day or location which could vary significantly from abattoir to boning hall to order make up and despatch, was straight out the food safety text book - immaculate; indicative of how seriously he took, not only his learning, but also his craft. He seldom, if ever needed prompting, knew exactly what would be expected of him and had clearly primed his colleagues as he always made himself available, on time, on task and on form.

“Steven is a hard-working and very capable young man who despite the considerable knowledge built up during his seven years of service has considerable humility. Indeed, if he has a weakness it is only to underestimate what he himself is capable of. I wish Steven every success in his future in the industry and have no hesitation in putting his name forward for Scottish Meat Training’s Level 2 Apprentice of the Year Award for 2018.

“Perhaps his nomination will go some way to strengthen his own estimation of his capabilities!”