We had an exciting night on Wednesday as we headed into Edinburgh for the annual Scottish Modern Apprentice Awards. The Assembly Rooms provided a great venue and I quite fancy those fabulous chandeliers for my dining room! We started off with some delicious whisky cocktails courtesy of Diageo, lovely ambience created by the Top floor Taivers and the chance to meet a few of the other apprentices, training companies delivering apprenticeships and the lovely Ashley behind all the organisation. The dress code was "dress to impress" and when he was named as one of 3 finalists Auryn choose his favourite tartan and had a jacket specially made for the event in the Edinburgh tartan. I was wearing a tweed bolero in the Craigie Heather Glen and my hubby had his Pride of Scotland suit on so I think it was fairly obvious what our company is all about! Through to the dining room and Auryn's Dad was able to check out the competition as photos were streamed on the big screen and STV's hostess Lucy Whyte and David Farrell introduced the finalists. The menu was fittingly put together by a previous award winning apprentice and what a delicious meal it was, particularly the pina colada ice cream to finish! Ali and I were of course enjoying the free wine and feeling very relaxed but poor Auryn was becoming increasingly nervous as the big moment approached. Employers were up first rewarded for their commitment to employing young people and it was a big night for the Scottish Borders as Waverley Housing won the SME Employer of the Year. Then it was our turn and videos of the three finalists for Level 2 were played on the big screen, showing three completely different working environments but the same ethos of young people coming straight from school with a desire to work, learn and make something of themselves. The evening certainly left me with a strong feeling of how important it is to build a business that can offer these kind of opportunities. None of us will forget the look on Auryn's face when his name was announced as the winner. He looked a little shell-shocked as he went up onto the stage to receive his award and have his photo taken. For someone who had so little confidence that he found it hard to look me in the eye and say good morning when he started with us, to then stand on the stage, have a microphone thrust in his face and answer questions about how he felt, I think is a great achievement in itself. Never mind all the hard work and commitment that made us put Auryn up for the award in the first place. Auryn's mum certainly had a tear in her eye and Ali and I were on our feet clapping and cheering our hearts out. Well done Auryn! And thank you to Intec and those who have supported his journey so far and continue to do so as he progresses on to Level 3.