- The family-owned business achieved the accolade as a result of high-quality employment opportunities and career support for young people -
Family-owned premium spirits company, Gordon & MacPhail, has been named a Young Person’s Guarantee Employer after an assessment period which looked in detail at the support the company offers to young people and the career opportunities it provides those aged 16 – 24 years old.
The accolade, awarded in December 2021, is the latest demonstration of Gordon & MacPhail’s commitment to become one of the best places to work in the local area for employees and young people. The company, which has long been a Scottish Living Wage employer and has worked alongside Developing the Young Workforce to provide foundation and graduate apprenticeships in recent years, has also created its first modern apprenticeships this year.
As part of the application process Gordon & MacPhail made several commitments to support young people in the local area start a new career in the whisky industry. Over the next 12 months, the family-owned company will offer seven modern apprenticeships, collaborate with schools and colleges to introduce more young people to the opportunities available to them, and offer further foundation apprenticeships.
Alongside the apprenticeships which cover many aspects of the business, from working in the distillery through to working in specialist roles such as finance or international sales, or within the operations team, Gordon & MacPhail also provides young people with career mentors. Supporting those still in education, Gordon & MacPhail also offers mock interview support and employability skills at partner schools, helping young people to consider their skills and interests and identify new career opportunities.
Maya McNeil, one of the young people employed, starts with Gordon & MacPhail in the new year as an International Sales Admin Assistant, commented: “I was attracted to join Gordon & MacPhail because it is a long established, well-known business which has excellent values. Because it is a local business, it was accessible to me and meant that I could continue staying in the area. If the role at Gordon & MacPhail was not available to me, I would have most likely have had to move to a larger city to find more career opportunities.”
Jodie Clayton, from the HR team at Gordon & MacPhail, said: “It’s particularly important to us at Gordon & MacPhail to create a diverse workforce that provides opportunities to people from all backgrounds and skillsets. There is a misconception that young people need to move away to a big city to pursue an exciting career, however we want to show that this isn’t the case, and that there’s a wealth of opportunity and talent to learn from in the local area if you know where to look.
“We have long been committed to developing our young workforce, now adding the introduction of modern apprenticeships to go alongside our existing foundation and graduate apprenticeships. Achieving the Young Persons Guarantee employer accolade demonstrates our commitment to continue to provide opportunities for our future workforce and ensure we are an employer of choice.”
Libby Hunt, one of the young people employed by Gordon & MacPhail in the last year, commented: “I was attracted to Gordon & MacPhail because of their distinct reputation as a local, family-owned business with strong roots in the community. Within the business there are a lot of experienced workers who are ready and willing to share knowledge and help me find my feet, which has been very reassuring for someone starting their first full-time job.”
Aimee Stephen, Business Liaison, Developing the Young Workforce, commented: “It is important for organisations like Gordon and MacPhail to invest in young people, as they are our future workforce. Employers need to capture people at a young age and inspire them on what their business and Moray has to offer, something which Gordon & MacPhail has been an advocate of. Over the years, Gordon & MacPhail has done an excessive amount of work within Moray schools to better prepare young people, including supporting Foundation Apprenticeship placements and creating career card resources to use at career fairs. The manufacturing industry in Moray is a fantastic place for young people to develop and grow and Gordon & MacPhail is a great supporter of helping individuals achieve exactly that through various upskilling opportunities”.
The news comes after Gordon & MacPhail announced strong profits for the financial year 20-21, with total sales increasing by 1% to £34.1 million from £33.7m and pre-tax profit growing from £9.8m to £13.9m. Continuing to invest for the future, Gordon & MacPhail is not only dedicating resource to training the next generation of the whisky industry but is also gearing up to launch a new distillery, The Cairn, in Grantown-on-Spey in summer 2022.