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Joe is apprentice of the year

Joe Smith and partner Clare Farmer, who was a finalist at the awards.

A CIVIL engineer from Shetland says he is “absolutely speechless” after being named Scottish apprentice of the year.

Joe Smith, who works for Tulloch Developments Ltd, won the prize at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards in Edinburgh on Thursday evening.

In addition to the main award, he was also named level four apprentice of the year.

The 22-year-old from Tingwall has already site-managed six projects for the Lerwick company and is now starting chartered qualifications with the Institute of Civil Engineers.

Speaking after his wins, Smith said he was very surprised to pick up the awards.

“I’m very humbled to even have been nominated and to win was absolutely amazing,” he said.

“I was extremely surprised as there were so many brilliant finalists. I was just happy to be nominated.”

Smith’s partner, 19-year old Clare Farmer, an accountancy apprentice at the Lerwick branch of RSM, was a finalist in the apprentice of the year level two category but she did not win.

Scottish Sea Farms, which is one of the biggest salmon producers in Shetland, missed out on winning the large employer of the year award.