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The Recruit

Creating jobs for the young people of Scotland

The Recruit programme.

“Developing business leaders of tomorrow”. This is the objective of a programme, which I entered, called “The Recruit” based on the hit TV show “The Apprentice”. This was a local programme which, instead of firing people each week, aimed to provide 8 jobs with successful local businesses.

I, along with 34 other Recruits, gave up my summer to take part and compete in The Recruit. The Recruit was initially set up to “Develop business leaders of tomorrow” and allow young people to showcase their talents in a bid to personally develop and secure employment. Throughout the summer each recruit gave up over 500 hours of their time, attended over 13 business challenges, completed over 16  reports and heard from some of Scotland’s top entrepreneurs. We visited businesses such as IBM, RBS, HP and locations such as Whitelee Windfarm to name a few.  We heard from John McGuire, owner and founder of Phoenix car company, Gary McEwan, top entrepreneur, who was presented the Queens Award for enterprise promotion, and many more entrepreneurs.

Each individual company that we visited set up a challenge which we competed for in groups. These challenges covered a broad spectrum of areas, all connected with business and the working environment. Every challenge had its own degree of difficulty and was designed to focus our minds and make us think “outside the box”.

The challenge in which, looking back now, was most relevant to me was set to us by 2020 Renewables and involved a visit to Whitelee Windfarm. We started that day off with a visit to the centre at Whitelee, where we learned all about how the Wind Farm was constructed and how it operates. We also got a tour around the site, by a very helpful guide who was well informed with the facts and figures. Getting out and standing underneath the turbines was quite spectacular. From a distance they don’t look as big but when you are standing underneath them, that feeling is somewhat different. The second part of that day was our challenge. We were set the challenge of arguing the pros and cons of a hypothetical Windfarm in Scotland and whether or not it would be beneficial to the community. Stewart Alexander (Technical Director) at 2020 started off by giving us a short insight into the background of the Renewables sector. He also gave us a brief introduction to the stages of developing a Wind Farm. This was somewhat mind boggling at the time, to say the least. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, not at any point in time did I think I would be helping with the development of Wind Farms. I remember thinking I would like to, but it never occurred that I might actually be involved in the industry one day.

Throughout the summer, we had all been working towards the finale dinner, in which we would find out our success. This was a black tie event in which Scotland’s elite business men and woman attended, as well as all the supporters and employers of the programme. I can’t begin to describe the feelings that I felt that night; I don’t think I’ll ever feel as many emotions at one time again. After a long period of waiting, 2020 Renewables were finally called onto the stage to announce who they would be employing. My heart was racing. After all the hard work, reports, challenges and everything else I went through on the journey of The Recruit, I finally found out. I had been the successful candidate that won employment with 2020 Renewables. The only feelings I felt at this point where sheer joy and happiness.

So where am I now? I started my new employment as a “Junior project Developer” at 2020 Renewables in September 2010. I have learned a great deal in my short time at 2020 renewables and I have been given more responsibility as the days go on.  I have already been to several places in my time at 2020 renewables, including several site visits across Scotland. I recently attended the Renewable UK conference in Manchester, where I learned a lot of useful information key to my job. I hope to continue to learn every day and enjoy my time here at 2020 Renewables and hopefully one day I can be even more involved within the Renewables industry.

James Binnie.