Winners take a bow in Herald Top Employer Awards night

Last night, in front of an audience made up of some of this country’s most influential and outstanding companies, the winners of this year’s The Herald Top Employer Awards were announced.

Amongst them were household names, national firms and small concerns from across the spectrum of commerce, charity and education. They all may be very different, but what each of them have in common was a commitment to provide an exceptional working environment for their staff. These are the companies who have used recent events as an opportunity to re-evaluate and strengthen their relationship with employees and that so many have chosen to do this was made evident by the fact that, alongside the winners, the judges also chose to award commendations in several categories.

One outstanding winner on the night was Kibble Education and Care Centre, an organisation that supports young people, and which won  both the Medium Employer of the Year award and was also named Scottish Top Employer of the Year in a category sponsored by Volvo Truck and Bus North & Scotland.

Another young organisation, PEEK ( Possibilities for Each and Every Kid) was named winner of the Small Employer of the Year award and Leidos UK, which provides technical support to defence, health and civil sectors was named Large Employer of the Year, with the University of Strathclyde gaining a commendation in the same category.

The Best Flexible Working award was won by Arnold Clark, with Pursuit Marketing gaining a commendation and afterwards Nikki Slowey, co-founder and director of category sponsors, Flexibility Works, said: “For me, these awards have been the perfect remedy after hearing so much economic doom and gloom elsewhere. Our deserving winners – and finalists – prove Scotland has many progressive, resilient and successful businesses that understand how looking after your people actually looks after your bottom line too.

“In particular, I’m delighted with the diverse range of sectors that made the shortlist for the best flexible working award. This shows in practical, real-life terms how flexibility can work in all sorts of roles, not just those that are desk-based.”

City Building, one of Scotland’s largest construction companies and operator of Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries, over half of whose 250 employees have a disability, triumphed in the Best Diversity and Inclusion Dynamic in the Workplace category, sponsored by Skills Development Scotland. And its construction craft apprenticeship programme, which is the largest of its kind in the country, also secured it the Leading Apprenticeship or Graduate Programme award, sponsored by Arnold Clark.

Lynne McBurney, Arnold Clark Group Head of People, said: ‘Congratulations to City Building for their triumph on the night. It was a hugely competitive category and every one of the nominees exemplified best practice in their field and should be commended on their outstanding achievements.

“It’s a pleasure to sponsor this important award and recognise the fine work done in creating new opportunities for younger people within the workplace, just as we strive to do at Arnold Clark through our apprenticeship and graduate programmes. It was inspirational to see the great innovations taking place in workplaces across Scotland, not just in our category but across the board. I’m delighted to convey my congratulations to all the winners and thank the Herald for hosting such an exemplary event.’

And Fergus McMillan, Head of Equality and Diversity, Skills Development Scotland,  said: “I would like to congratulate all those recognised at The Herald Top Employer Awards 2022. They set a great example for other employers and they should be very proud of their achievements. The Herald Top Employer Awards are a perfect opportunity to celebrate forward-thinking employers who put employees, their training, progression and welfare, at the heart of everything that they do”.

Glasgow-based communication company, BIG Partnership received the Inspiring Employee Culture Award and afterwards, Kirsteen O’Neill, People Director at Newton Property Management, who sponsored the category, said: “The event was uplifting, inspiring and informative, and a truly wonderful night was had by all. Every one of the  finalists should be immensely proud of themselves – the competition was fierce, so to come so close is such an incredible achievement.  Huge congratulations to all of the winners – they set the bar unbelievably high;  inspired many and were truly deserving winners.”

And Lee Ann Panglea, Head of the CIPD in Scotland and Northern Ireland, who sponsored the Best Training and Skills Development Initiative, said : “Congratulations to the Herald Events team on a fabulous night for the inaugural Top Employer Awards. It was wonderful to be able to celebrate the achievements of employers of all sizes, and the positive impact they are having on work and working lives in Scotland.

“Congratulations to all of the winners, and especially AC Whyte & Co who won the award for best training and skills initiative, which we were delighted to sponsor.”

City Building also received a commendation in this category, while AC Whyte & Co were also commended in the Best Use of Digital Technologies category, which was won by West College Scotland.

Meanwhile the Judges Special Recognition Award was won by the Auchrannie Resort on Arran, with Firefish Software receiving a commendation.