Agricultural engineer Drew Easton, head of engineering at the Barony campus of Scotland’s Rural College, has been presented with the 2013 Inverarity Award.
The award, named after college former chairman Sandy Inverarity, recognises a special contribution to innovation and development within the SRUC.
Drew received his award at the Royal Highland Show from Sandy Inverarity himself.
SRUC principal and chief executive Bob Webb said the nomination provides all the key elements for the Inverarity prize.
“Drew’s work is founded in business development and transforming a good business relationship into the provision of sector-leading training and skills,” said Professor Webb. “The award-winning engineering department at Barony has developed new programmes that have changed the face of agricultural engineering and given Scotland’s Rural College in a new leading role.”
Professor Webb focussed on the innovative business Drew has established with the global agricultural engineering company CLASS. It began eight years ago, after winning a contract to train apprentices from the company’s dealership network in northern England, Scotland and Ireland. The latest new contract involves training not only technicians, but parts, sales and management staff. The existing network supports around 1000 trainees but this is forecast to grow to some 15,000 within the next seven years.
Drew was surprised, honoured and delighted to receive his award, He said: “I am thrilled at the success of what we have achieved with CLASS in the past eight years, helping them achieve their vision for the apprenticeship programme.”