Outstanding Student Award for Modern Apprentice Craig

07 December 2021
Craig Gunn with daughter Phoebe

Hard work pays off

Craig with daughter Phoebe on his graduation day.

A Scottish Water modern apprentice has won a top college award for his HNC performance.
Craig Gunn (28), who also recently became a father for the first time to 6-month-old Phoebe, received the School of Engineering Award from Glasgow Clyde College for his hard work and dedication towards his HNC in Water Operations, while dealing with hurdles to his academic performance. 
Despite having Semantic Pragmatic Disorder (SPD), which can affect a person’s ability to understand elements of language, Craig graduated with an A – and the college was keen to highlight his achievement as an outstanding student. 
Craig said: “I was over the moon to find out I’d graduated with an A, I would have been happy just to have passed. My family and friends were all so chuffed for me too, then when I found out I had won the School of Engineering Award, I was really quite emotional.  
“I wasn’t expecting it. It was so nice to know that the hard work I’d put in over the last few years had been recognised and I do feel proud of myself.” 
After struggling to get an apprenticeship on leaving school, Craig worked in the retail industry for a time, as well as a stint in a crematorium, but always wanted to secure something that had a clear career path. 
He said: 
“The jobs I had before were fine but I wanted something that was a career, that I could progress in, so I was delighted when I was successful in my application for the Modern Apprenticeship role at Scottish Water.  
“The HNC was optional but I decided it was something I really wanted to achieve. I spoke to my team leader at Scottish Water and the college to see if there was any support available that would help me with my SPD and I’m so grateful for the way they both helped me achieve my qualification.” 
Craig explained:  
“College was three days a week normally as part of the HNC but I was allocated an extra half day which gave me one on one time with my lecturer to go over anything I didn’t understand and to ask questions. 
“It made a real difference to me. When Covid 19 hit, I was worried about the impact it would have on my progress, but we just kept everything the same and switched to using Teams which was great. 
“I’ve never had so much support or training in a job before. Scottish Water is a great company to work for and I feel very lucky to have the job I do and hopefully the chance to progress within the organisation over the coming years.” 
Craig, who has now completed his four-year apprenticeship and has been appointed a waste water operative, handed his final piece of course work in hours before his daughter was born. 
“My little girl Phoebe was born the night I handed in my final submission which was perfect timing,” he said. “She’s amazing!” 
Andrew Lamb, an Energy and Building Services lecturer at Glasgow Clyde College who worked closely with Craig over the course of his HNC, said:  
“It was a pleasure to work with Craig over the course of his studies. The college can put the right support in place, but if Craig had not engaged and shown the commitment that he did then he would not have succeeded. 
“Staff were constantly impressed with the effort that Craig showed and his energy and commitment to ensure that he got the most out of his time at Glasgow Clyde College and in turn, and more importantly, the best out of himself. 
“Craig thoroughly deserves the award and we wish him every success, both on a personal level, and in his career with Scottish Water.”