A Monifieth woman has reached the finals of Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards.
Lisa Cathro owns Zest, which is a hopeful in the Micro Employer of the Year category for firms with less than ten employees. The business has a cafe and a salad bar in two locations in St Andrews.
“It is great to be a finalist. The whole team are excited about it,” Lisa said.
A real focus for the company is the training and development of people facing physical, mental or social barriers to employment and apprenticeships are a large part of that. Lisa managed Zest before jumping at an opportunity to buy the shop.
“I did a lot of different jobs and didn’t find anything that motivated me or gave me a sense of purpose.
“I had a lot to learn very quickly as I didn’t know anything about running a business, but along with the rest of the team, I get real job satisfaction from helping people.”
The shop supports five modern apprenticeships, work placements for the job centre and Fife Youth job contracts, providing experience as well as confidence and social skills to people who normally have barriers to work.
Lisa explained: “We have started running extra workshops with all the staff in things such as coaching and disability awareness.
“If we pick up the award and show other employers that they can do more, then that’s fantastic.”