Chief Executive congratulates Council torchbearer and Modern Apprentice John Beaton

City of Edinburgh Council Modern Apprentice John Beaton, 19, carried the Olympic Flame at Hopetoun House yesterday (13 June 2012).

Today he was personally congratulated by Chief Executive Sue Bruce at the Council's Waverley Court headquarters.  

John, who works within Economic Development for the Council, described the experience of being an Olympic Torchbearer.

He said: "The atmosphere at Hopetoun House was electric, especially when the young people from the local West Lothian primary schools started cheering as the convoy arrived in the estate. I got a sense that Scotland was very much hosting the Games as well as London and the fact they used local torchbearers who were nominated by the local community added an extra feeling of the Olympics coming to the heart of communities across the country, not just London. The Evening Celebration at Edinburgh Castle was amazing - a fitting end to a great day for the Capital. This was an experience that is now etched into the great history of Edinburgh.

"It's great being a Modern Apprentice with the City of Edinburgh Council, it has given me the opportunity to work while being trained and gaining a qualification at the same time. I would urge all businesses in Edinburgh who are interested to get in contact with us to find out how they can get involved in the Edinburgh Guarantee."

The Council currently employs 70 Modern Apprentices, working in a variety of service areas from Social Care and business support to sports development and outdoor learning. 

Chief Executive Sue Bruce said: "Congratulations to John on his Torchbearer role. He carried the Olympic Flame in style yesterday and did Edinburgh and the Council proud.

"John is a tremendous asset to the Council, playing an important role in our Employability and Skills unit. Like every single one of our 70 Modern Apprentices, John's enthusiasm and commitment are testament to the success of the pioneering Edinburgh Guarantee scheme and its power to transform people's lives.

"We're delighted to be recruiting a further 50 Modern Apprentices this year and we would urge any city employers not already signed up to the Edinburgh Guarantee to do whatever they can to support this vital initiative." 

John Beaton was diagnosed with glue ear as a baby and had to have gromits fitted. He was diagnosed with Asperger's at 17, but he never uses his difficulties as an excuse that he can't do things. After years of struggling he now referees rugby and is a Scout Leader. At age 14, John organised 100 scouts to carry flags at Murrayfield for the Calcutta Cup. John was also member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. He never thought he would pass his exams but he proved everyone wrong by sitting Higher Business Management. John is currently working towards an SVQ at level 3 in Business Administration as part of the MA programme.  

The Olympic Flame arrived in Edinburgh during the early evening yesterday and was carried by a total of 33 torchbearers before heading to the Evening Celebration at Edinburgh Castle. Thousands of people lined the streets for a glimpse of the Torch Relay.  


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