Borders College

Employers celebrate Scottish workforce upskilling

Employer Recognition Awards 2018

Fourteen employers from across the Borders have been recognised for their positive contribution to the upskilling and education of the Scottish workforce at an awards dinner held at Borders College.

Employer Recognition Awards 2018

Honouring the organisations’ association and partnership with the College, where a significant number of their employees carried out professional training and development, representatives from each organisation were invited to attend the inaugural Employer Recognition Awards.

Borders College strives to provide individuals and businesses with access to learning and development that will support their individual progress and improve their economic prosperity, working with over 500 employers in 2017 and almost 1,200 businesses across the past 3 years.

Angela Cox, College Principal, welcomed guests to the awards, reinforcing how the support and involvement of employers and key stakeholders is integral to Borders College’s success in helping individuals to maximise their potential:

“We would not be able to achieve any of this if it was not for your support, collaboration and partnership ethos.

"The recently published Enterprise & Skills Strategic Board Strategic Plan puts skills at the heart of driving an inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Scotland.

“I am delighted to see that work-based learning and lifelong learning are being prioritised. This means that in the future, I hope, we will be able to support our employers more and in a more flexible way to help you achieve your ambitions.“

At the awards dinner held in the College Restaurant, attendees were presented with a silver plaque which they can proudly display within their workplaces.

The fourteen organisations awarded were Marlin Industries, Berwickshire Housing, Brothers of Charity, Cherrytrees Nurseries, Eildon Housing, Garvald, Scottish Borders Housing Association, Farne Salmon, JobcentrePlus, Scottish Public Pensions Agency, NHS Borders, SB Cares, Scottish Borders Council and Waverley Housing.

Each of the employers recognised at the awards had their own story to tell on the benefits of working in partnership with Borders College, but their high regard for their respective workforces and their ongoing development was consistent across the board, demonstrating why they are all so deserving of their accolades.

It is hoped that the Employer Recognition Awards will become a more regular fixture in the College calendar, maintaining these important established connections with industry.

  • If you are an employer and would like to discuss the training and development needs of your workforce, please contact the Business Development Unit on 01450 361030 or to find out more about how Borders College could support you.

Representatives from the organisations recognised at the awards accepted their plaque on behalf of their employer, some of whom are pictured below.


The various employers also had many positives things to say about their respective awards and commitment to the development of Scotland’s workforce;


Helen Forsyth, Chief Executive of Berwickshire Housing:

Helen Forsyth, Chief Executive of Berwickshire Housing

“We were very thrilled to receive this award. We are passionate about the career development of young people and have always offered work placements, internships and apprenticeships but are really enjoying the Developing our Young Workforce programme. We will continue to champion this work whenever we can. We consider it crucial in succession planning for our organisation.”

(Jean Gray is pictured accepting Berwickshire Housing's award from Angela Cox.)

Charmian Ledsham, CEO of Brothers of Charity:

Charmian Ledsham, CEO of Brothers of Charity

“Brothers of Charity Services Scotland are delighted to be receiving an Employer Recognition Award from Borders College. It is an acknowledgement of the commitment of the organisation and all its employees to ensuring we have a confident and competent workforce.

“We have an established relationship with Borders College, developed over many years, supporting employees to gain recognised qualifications, such as SVQ Health Care and Social Services (Adults) at levels 3 & 4.

“Last year we were successful in being granted Flexible Workforce Development Award funding, which enabled development of Managers IT skills.

“As an organisation we have a strong reputation of delivering high quality training and learning opportunities for employees. This is reflected in feedback from employees, inspection reports by the Care Inspectorate and in other quality markers such as EFQM & Investors in People.”

(Dawn Newlands is pictured accepting Brothers of Charity's award from Angela Cox.)

Lisa Bennet, Director of Cherrytrees Childrens Nurseries:

Stacey Forsyth of Cherrytrees Childrens Nurseries“Cherrytrees Nursery in Hawick are delighted to have been awarded the Employer Recognition award from the Borders College. Stacey and her team work hard to provide quality childcare, with education and training playing a major part in their success.

“Cherrytrees Nursery are delighted to be involved in this initiative spearheaded by the Borders College. The upskilling and education scheme is a great way to enable Cherrytrees help and identify any student or potential employee wishing to join our workforce. We would encourage anybody interested in a career in childcare to get involved in this scheme.”

(Stacey Forsyth is pictured accepting Cherrytrees Nurseries' award from Angela Cox.)

Deborah Taggart, HR Manager at Eildon Housing:

Eildon Housing“We’re delighted to receive this award from Borders College in recognition of the work we are doing to upskill and develop our workforce at Eildon Housing.

“Like many other organisations we’re undertaking a Digital Transformation programme and a recent IT Skills Gap Analysis revealed that some of our Care Services staff were not as confident as they’d like to be using digital technology. Borders College worked with us to design bespoke, IT skills training so that our staff are now able to maximise the opportunities digital technology offers; assisting the Association to achieve its strategic objectives, whilst ‘working smarter’.

“Working with staff at Borders College, we’ve developed our own Learning Management System to deliver a range of e-learning courses, which has resulted in a 40% saving on mandatory training costs.”

(Nile Istephan is pictured accepting their award from Angela Cox.)

Ros Hall, Training Manager with Farne Salmon:

Ros Hall, Training Manager with Farne Salmon

“Since joining the Training and Development team at Farne we have started working closely with Borders College.

“By offering the appropriate training to employees not only boosts efficiency but will also give them the motivation they need to achieve results. Between myself and the Resourcing Manager we have become involved with Borders College at many levels, ranging from DYW, Employability, Apprentices, PDA and are in early discussion with the Business Development Team to look at an introduction to food manufacturing type of learning for jobseekers in the Borders. These types of partnerships are ideal for us, as the biggest private employer it is important to be able to fulfil our customer requirements whilst being able to develop and upskill our workforce through work-based learnings allowing our people to gain their qualifications. This framework then encourages people to seek progressive posts within our business which is at the heart of what we are striving to achieve.

“Four of our Managers have recently completed their PDA in Operational Leadership and Management Level 8, with two of them ready to start working towards their Level 9, full support throughout their qualification is given from the tutor/assessor with regular visits to the factory.

“Farne strives to become the local employer of choice for all, we are continually developing and investing in our people which enable us to become the award-winning business we are today.

“I myself have benefited from this having joined Farne as a Process Operator more than a few years ago!”

(Linda Dickson is pictured accepting Farne Salmon's award from Angela Cox.)

Mike Niven, Employer & Partnership Manager at JobcentrePlus:

Mike Niven, Employer & Partnership Manager at JobcentrePlus

“JobcentrePlus and Borders College have a long established and successful partnership which continues to grow as we work together to support our unemployed customers move closer to the labour market and in to work.

“Through our close working relationship we have developed several employability courses which support customers in achieving their goals of securing work in various sectors including Care, Construction, I.T/Admin and Hospitality.

“Our “Catering for Life” course designed to support those furthest from the Labour Market has proved very successful and has had such a positive impact on customers lives that “Catering for Life” is now being promoted and delivered in other areas of Scotland.

“As our Borders Labour Market changes it is crucial that JobcentrePlus continues to work in partnership with Borders College to develop pathways to support our customers in to work.”

Jane Davidson, Chief Executive at NHS Borders:

Jane Davidson, Chief Executive at NHS Borders“Ensuring that our current and future local workforce have opportunities to develop and gain new skills throughout the course of their career is important to us. We are delighted to receive this award in recognition of our contribution to the upskilling and education of the workforce in Scotland through our continued work in partnership with Borders College.”

(Claire Smith is pictured accepting NHS Borders' award from Angela Cox.)

Philip Barr, SB Cares Managing Director:

SB Cares“We are honoured to have been recognised for our commitment to the education and training of our workforce which is of course is fundamental to our aim of delivering the highest quality of care to our clients. The association and partnership we have with Borders College is of vital importance to these goals and we look forward to continuing to work with them with all the positive benefits this brings us all in terms of an upskilled and motivated workforce.”

(Lynn Crombie is pictured accepting SB Cares' award from Angela Cox.)

Tracey Logan, Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Council:

Philip Barr of SB Cares, accepting the award on behalf of Scottish Borders Council

“As one of the area’s largest employers we are absolutely committed to the education and training of our staff and work closely with Borders College to support that.

“We are delighted to be receiving recognition of our efforts and look forward to continuing our partnership with the College to help our staff and continuously improve the services we deliver.”

(Philip Barr of SB Cares is pictured accepting Scottish Borders Council's award from Angela Cox.)

Fraser Kelly, Chief Executive of Waverley Housing:

“With 60 members of staff, from joiners through to housing assistants, we believe that Waverley Housing is a lively and interesting place to work. We take care in making sure we have the right people in place and that we all learn from each other. We want our staff to have a say in their own development and working with Borders College has allowed us to combine traditional training with the real life, hands on, experience of holding down a job. We want to have the best people in place in order to provide the best possible services to our tenants and, to do this, we need to keep up to speed with new ways of working.”

Pictured below are Maria Lyle from Scottish Borders Housing Association and Penelope Cooper from Scottish Public Pensions Agency accepting their respective awards from Borders College Principal Angela Cox.

Scottish Borders Housing Association Scottish Public Pensions Agency






Published: Wed 7th Nov, 2018