The New Apprentice


Tonight, we’re very pleased to announce the appointment of our first apprentice distiller. After an island-wide search, we’re delighted to welcome local school-leaver Rebekah Morrison to our team of Isle of Harris spirit-makers and the wider distillery family.

With the future of our island at the heart of everything we do, Rebekah’s new role embodies our ambition to create secure long-term employment here in the Outer Hebrides, particularly for young people who wish to remain in the community and set down roots of their own.

Rebekah lives in the village of Bowglass and initially joined us for work experience while still at school, continuing the connection through holiday and weekend work. After seeing our appeal for a new apprentice through social media she was inspired to apply for the role…

“I had a lot of encouragement to apply from family and friends and I was also very keen to learn the process of distilling. Whisky production in particular fascinates me, but it was never something I had thought would be possible for me to do, especially not here at home.”


   


After submitting her CV, she was invited to meet our head distiller Kenny Maclean for an interview to ascertain her suitability for the position. It’s safe to say Kenny was impressed by what he saw and heard, as he tells us…

“It was clear how able and enthusiastic she was, not only in her approach to the work required but also to the importance of being part of a team. Combined with her positive demeanour and obvious interest in distilling, I felt she was the right person for our first apprenticeship."

After much discussion with the rest of the distillery team, we were finally ready to make Rebekah an offer and, after interrupting a lunch with her Mum in Stornoway, we broke the good news to her by phone which was apparently met with much excitement around the table.

Rebekah tells us…

“I had started a course in access to the Merchant Navy at the college in Stornoway, but I really wanted to stay in Harris. I feel so fortunate to have this exciting opportunity and I’m really looking forward to getting hands-on, learning the entire distilling process inside and out!”



She continues…

“Being a distiller is definitely the career path I want to pursue and I’m very excited about what the future has in store. The people and being a part of the community makes the island home for me so it’s amazing to have this chance to stay and work right here in Harris."

Rebekah has now begun her long journey to becoming a fully accredited distiller with us. These are early days in a craft which often takes a lifetime to fully master and there is much to learn along the way as she works towards a formal Spirits Industry Vocational Qualification.

But we’re confident that this young woman will thrive in her apprenticeship and will go on to inspire new generations of young people to remain here in the islands, carve out careers and play their own vital role in ensuring our island's survival and revival as the decades go by.

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