Apprentice Store becomes the first IT provider in Scotland to be accredited Platinum by Investors in Young People

INVERNESS-based IT services provider and social enterprise, The Apprentice Store, has become the first IT provider in Scotland to achieve Platinum accreditation by Investors in Young People (IIYP) and only the sixth organization in Scotland to achieve this recognition.

A plaque to commemorate the achievement was presented by Fergus Ewing, MSP for Inverness and Nairn, at the organization’s office in Inverness today.

Launched in 2014, Investors in Young People is a framework of good practice, designed to help employers across all sectors develop their youth employment practices to attract, recruit, develop and retain young people. Accreditation can be obtained on four levels: standard, silver, gold and platinum.

The accreditation follows an inspection that took place earlier this year and builds on the gold level awarded in 2019. The Apprentice Store has been praised for its continued focus on attraction; recruitment; and youth retention (including those facing barriers to employment) over the 2020-2022 period and despite COVID-19. During the pandemic, the organization continued to offer graduate apprenticeships; Modern apprenticeships; Basic learning; internships and work placements.

The culture of The Apprentice Store was also singled out as a differentiator, described as “inclusive; encouraging; favorable; and without judgement.

Speaking of platinum accreditation, David Massey, Managing Director of The Apprentice Store, said: “Becoming the first IT supplier in Scotland to be awarded platinum accreditation by Investors in Young People means a lot to us. We have a very clear vision and purpose to create employment opportunities for young people in IT and we will only achieve this by putting our young people first and creating a culture that meets their needs and prepares them for to succeed. I am proud that this culture is recognized. The last two years have been difficult for everyone and we have had to rethink and adapt the way we work. Our team spirit and culture is stronger than ever and it’s amazing that this is officially recognized.

Fergus Ewing, MSP, added, “The Investors in Young People accreditation is a significant achievement and the result of hard work. Congratulations to everyone at The Apprentice Store.

Bonnie Clarke, Managing Director of This is Remarkable, the organization authorized to deliver Investors in Young People, said: “I would like to personally congratulate The Apprentice Store on winning the prestigious Investors In Young People Platinum award. This is truly a great honour, this level of recognition is only awarded to top performing organizations that genuinely help their young people thrive. The Apprentice Store had a myriad of great examples of supporting young people, but the standout feature for me is the positive culture, demonstrating a natural inclusiveness; encourage people to grow in a supportive and non-judgmental way, fostering a strong sense of community and belonging. Congratulations and thank you to the whole team for this great success.

The Apprentice Store, which now employs 12 people, offers web development, cybersecurity, IT support and IT consulting. The organization works with businesses of all sizes and across all sectors in the public, private and third sectors and is the only Scottish IT services provider that invests all profits in staff.

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