Category Archives: Modern Apprenticeships

Resource Management Association Scotland (RMAS) Site visit to Optimum Eco Group – Restructa Ltd. and CCL (North) Ltd.

Resource Management Association Scotland (RMAS) Site visit to Optimum Eco Group – Restructa Ltd. and CCL (North) Ltd.

We had the pleasure of taking part in the RMAS site visit to Optimum Eco Group, sites Restructa Ltd. and CCL (North) Ltd, both in Irvine.

After a brief catch up over tea/ coffee and pastries, we were spilt into groups and taken by bus to the first site, CCL (North) Ltd. Established in 2000, CCL is one of the UK’s leading specialists for secure data destruction, IT asset disposal and WEEE recycling. Here we were shown around the plant and the process from the items arriving, to them being stripped down and recovered or fixed and reused. There is a museum section where some of the rarer finds are kept and displayed and I was delighted to see a ZX Spectrum computer on show, which took me back to my own childhood memories of my first ever console.

The ’hands-on’ approach with the waste demonstrates incredible attention to detail and ensures every part that could be recovered or reused is able to be utilised elsewhere. I found the vape dismantling particularly interesting as I am seeing more and more discarded vapes everywhere I go. These were stripped down, batteries removed, and plastic sleeves separated to try and make use of as many parts of the vape as possible. This was done by hand and under a fume cupboard.

The handling of IT equipment and other data sensitive equipment was very well thought through to maintain sensitivity and security throughout for the client. We were able to see the process of shredding, and the vast difference from the assets that went into the shredder compared to what came out at the other side.

We were then taken to Restructa which was formed in 2005 in response to the UK Government’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.

It focuses on the repair, reuse and recycling of display equipment from its 25,000sq ft facility, handling more than 1000 TVs every day. Restructa. has developed into a leading recycling and waste management provider.

The televisions and monitors arrive and are checked to see what is wrong with them to segregate those repairable from those requiring recycling. We learned that out of 650,00 televisions sent for recycle each year, 37,000 tv’s are repaired and go on to have an extended life by around 5 to 6 years and are used by those who need them most.

At both sites we saw their modern apprentices hard at work and learning new skill sets. It was very reassuring to hear that approximately 70% of apprentices go on to progress within the company.

One fascinating thing about our visit was being shown what happens to the old TV screens, the glass is processed on site and made into garden decorative pebbles and chips, that has an opaque quality and let’s light shine through meaning the old TV screens become part of garden décor, water features and I was given some myself which I look forward to adding to my plant pot.

The other incredible piece of technology we were shown was the POPs (Persistent organic pollutants) testing system that Optimum Eco Group have developed, which tells you if a television backing can be recycled or not, thus increasing recyclable material. The manufacturing industry has no current responsibility to tell us what chemicals are in the items they produce, meaning they are less likely to consider the cradle to grave concept and how easy their product is to be recycled at end-of-life and this responsibility now falls to the waste industry to deal with.  

Our visit gave me lots of food for thought and great chat over lunch and it was so nice to see an organisation, not only doing what they should, but going above and beyond showing best practice and actively looking for the next best thing. How great it would be if everyone thought so carefully about their impact on the environment and what they can do better. RMAS does a great job of encouraging knowledge sharing, networking and engagement as well as encouraging innovation.

RMAS is a not-for-profit, non-political membership organisation for micro, small and medium sized resource management companies operating in Scotland. They actively represent and support companies who are operating across the length and breadth of Scotland. RMAS ensure members are well informed and that priority issues, risks, and opportunities are communicated, and represented effectively to Government, its various agencies, the commercial sector and the public.

I am grateful to RMAS and Optimum Eco Group for arranging the day and provoking the conversation that followed as a result. A truly informative site visit and lunch.

Meet the Team- Issue 2

Welcome back to our ‘Meet the Team’ feature!

Welcome to our second input of ‘Meet the Team’, where every few weeks we will be shining the spotlight on one of the hardworking team here at Albion to give you insight into the great people behind the business!

This week, we are introducing you to…

Kirstie MacDougall

Office & Training VQ Administrator

Favourite Quote: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” – Thomas H Palmer

Job Role at Albion:

My role within Albion Environmental is to assist candidates in achieving WAMITAB/SQA awards that can be used as recognition for the work they already carry out within their company or will help in obtaining a new role within their company. Whilst ensuring the organisation complies with service level agreements. As well as this I am responsible for organising and coordinating training with clients that will help individuals in their continuing professional development. I also provide additional office support to my colleagues who may be out on site and require assistance.

What’s your experience that lead you to this role?

I have been with Albion Environmental for two years now. This was my first role within the Waste Management Industry. However, I have over 10 years’ experience of working in a range of administrative environments, which has enabled me to be competent in using all the Microsoft office tools, organising training events as well as being able to cope under pressure and deal with deadlines. I obtained an HNC in Administration & Information Technology and I am also a qualified Fire Marshall.

What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on at Albion?

I was given the task of streamlining our candidate induction process, so our Assessors did not have to depend on waiting the receiving the physical paperwork to undertake the induction. Through research and assistance from City & Guilds I was able to create an electronic version of the induction on a system known as Learning Assistant. This enabled the assessor to also go through Learning Assistant in a more in-depth manner rather than just a brief overview.

What’s something interesting about you that people may not know?

For the past ten years I have been helping organise and run a camp for kids aged 8-12 who are involved with The Salvation Army. At these camps activities have included Gorge Walking, Abseiling, Archery, Overnight Bushcraft etc. Of course, I am not one those leaders that will stand by and watch the kids do it, I am normally in there doing the challenges with the kids.

What’s your proudest achievement so far?

My proudest achievement would be when after only having learned to play the Tenor Horn for a couple of months, I was asked to play with the rest of the Band at the Remembrance Day Service at our local Cenotaph. I am still playing at this service 15 years later.

When i’m not working you’ll find me.. with my niece’s or tackling a new craft activity. Sometimes even doing both at the same time.

You can contact Kirstie via email at or connect on LinkedIn

New Modern Apprentice joins Albion team

Albion Environmental are delighted to welcome Craig McClurkin on board as a Level 3 Modern Apprentice. Craig comes from a background in customer service roles which will serve him well in his new function. His duties will involve supporting business administration and training delivery which will provide a platform to further develop his excellent communication, organisational and IT skills. 

During his time at Albion, Craig will work towards a vocational qualification in Digital Applications affording him the opportunity to develop his knowledge in the Environmental arena, principles of marketing and evaluation, as well as experience of digital marketing metrics and analytics. 

We look forward to supporting Craig in his personal development and assisting him in the successful completion of his VQ.

If you would like to discuss the suitability of vocational qualifications in the resource or facilities management sectors that may be of interest then please contact us for more information.

South Ayrshire Council Modern Apprentice Level 2 Sustainable Resource Management Certificates

Congratulations to Nathan O’Connell, Scott Thomson and Mark Yates from South Ayrshire Council who have successfully completed the Sustainable Resource Management Level 2 Modern Apprenticeship Framework. This award has various pathways and South Ayrshire Council chose the ‘Frontline Environmental Services’ route, which incorporates a great variety of waste management and environmental related activities and topics.

All three Modern Apprentices have been working at the Walker Road Waste Management Depot in Ayr for the past year, during which time they have participated in various duties from site operations to waste collection. We visited Nathan and Scott, unfortunately Mark could not attend, to present them with their Sustainable Resource Management SQA and Modern Apprenticeship certificates and wish them every success for their future training and career!

Scotland-wide, through funding provided by Skills Development Scotland and the uptake of this framework by local authorities, private and third sectors, we have seen a rise in youth employment in the waste management industry.

Albion Environmental Ltd can deliver Modern Apprenticeships in Sustainable Resource Management and Facilities Services/Management, and are registered with Skills Development Scotland to administer and claim the associated funding. Modern Apprenticeships provide young people with an excellent opportunity to achieve nationally recognised qualifications whist gaining valuable work experience and earning a salary.  The program also benefits businesses as a Modern Apprentice can introduce new fresh ideas to the business, help sustain a skilled workforce and in turn the business is supporting our young workforce in gaining employment.

For further details please contact or 01292 610428


Photograph left to right: South Ayrshire Council Staff – Samantha Graham, Nathan O’Connell – Modern Apprentice, Scott Thomson – Modern Apprentice, John Morrison – Service Coordinator Waste Management Operations and Maureen Wallace.

Waste Supervisory Management Vocational Qualification

Currently working in Waste Management and would like to progress to a supervisory position.  Did you know SQA and WAMITAB offer a nationally recognised Waste Supervisory Management Level 3 Award? This award is suitable to anyone wishing to gain a formal qualification to aid career progression within the waste management ,  including modern apprentices.  If you are an employee or an employer and would like to find our more including any available funding please contact

Mandatory Units

  • Ensure that teams conform to efficient working practices
  • Provide H&S in the working environment for waste management activities
  • Supervise the work of others
  • Contribute to the management of the environmental impact of work
  • Provide leadership in your area of responsibility

Optional Units

Block A – combination of units must be selected that equate to 2 credits

Block B -combination of units must be selected that equate to 3 credits 

Full Course Details 

Waste Supervisory Management SQA

Waste Supervisory Management WAMITAB