A Perth-based building firm has won high praise in national industry awards and one of its apprentices has been named Perth’s best construction student.

A&J Stephen was awarded a commendation in the Homes for Scotland Awards 2016.

The family business was one of only three firms to reach the shortlist of the ‘Private Development of the Year’ for its contribution to the first phase at Scotland’s largest new town, Chapelton, just outside Aberdeen.

The homes range from two to six-bedroom terraced, semi and detached villas.

Receiving the commendation at the Homes for Scotland Annual Lunch at the EICC on May 20, A&J Stephen managing director John Stephen said: “We are delighted that Chapelton has achieved this industry recognition.

“The teams involved have taken great care to deliver on the design philosophy of what is fast becoming one of the most sought-after communities in Scotland.”

Meanwhile, Jordan Telfar (17) an apprentice with A&J Stephen has been hailed the best construction student in Perth, and the fourth best in Scotland.

First year apprentice Jordan from Perth was the only student to represent Perth College’s first year intake of 32 students at the Scottish Association of Timber Trade Teachers (SATTT) annual competition at East Kilbride College on May 14.

Jordan also came fourth out of 16 apprentices nationwide.

The youngster, who attended St John’s RC Academy and started as an apprentice with the firm in August 2015, also competed in the first regional heat of the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) SkillBuild awards (‘New Entrant’ category).

In honour of his achievements, Jordan was awarded the Perth Branch (UCATT) Cup for Special Competence in Practical Craft Skills at a special prize-giving ceremony at Perth College yesterday.

Jordan said: “I was absolutely delighted to be chosen to represent the college in these two national competitions. I like to think that I strive for perfection in the work that I do and it’s great to have been recognised for that.

Stephen are known for their quality housebuilding so I’m proud to be an apprentice with them. One day, I would love to start my own business. ”

Ron Sutherland, construction manager, added: “As a company, we need to invest in our future to address the growing skills shortage in the industry. We are delighted by Jordan’s achievements.’’

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