(Inverurie Herald 08/11/2019) Read here

A former butcher who now champions food and drink qualifications across Aberdeenshire is in the running for a prestigious prize at this year’s Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) Star Awards.

Gordon Gibb, who is shortlisted in the SQA Champion category, may no longer be a full time butcher, but 20 years on from leaving the profession, he is still putting his experience to good use in his role as a Director with Oldmeldrum-based Polaris Learning.

The SQA Star Awards recognise the achievements of individuals working towards SQA qualifications as well as the schools, colleges, training providers and employers who help to deliver SQA qualifications — that enable learners to achieve their ambitions.

Today Gordon leads butchery demonstrations and training sessions and it was his move from full time butcher to trainer and assessor that introduced him to Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs).

Whilst promoting the benefits of SVQs amongst local employers, Gordon saw the positive impact of the qualifications on people working in a hands-on job in the food and drinks industry.

Gordon’s belief in the qualifications has seen him and his team certificate over 3,000 food and drink SVQs in the past ten years, including learners in rural areas across Scotland.

Gordon has been invited to join the other finalists for a spectacular ceremony at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow on Friday, November 15.

They will be recognised for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the success stories that have taken place within Scottish education and training over the past 12 months.

In all, thirteen awards will be presented on the night for categories including School Candidate of the Year, SQA Champion, and Lifelong Learning Centre of the Year.

Of all the category winners, two will be chosen to collect SQA’s distinguished “Pride o’ Worth” awards; so named after the SQA motto and taken from Robert Burns’ poem, “A Man’s a Man for A’ That”.

SQA will also offer its highest accolade, the SQA Fellowship, to an individual who has made exceptional contributions to education and training in Scotland throughout their career.

SQA Chief Executive, Fiona Robertson, said: “The nominations for this year’s awards reflect the dedication of candidates studying for SQA qualifications, as well as the commitment of teachers, lecturers, and specialists to providing innovative and engaging learning opportunities.

“The awards will shine a light on inspirational projects taking place in our centres – the schools, colleges, training providers, and employers who deliver our qualifications. I look forward to welcoming our finalists, who will come together from across the country, throughout the UK and beyond, to what promises to be a fantastic evening celebrating some truly remarkable achievements in education.”