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First Sea Lord recognises award-winning naval apprentices

First Sea Lord recognises award-winning Naval apprentices
17 March 2016
Outstanding Royal Navy apprentices have been recognised for their achievements in a special awards ceremony attended by the First Sea Lord in Portsmouth Naval Base.

The Head of the Royal Navy, who is a strong advocate of the apprenticeship scheme, presented awards to 15 finalists at the very first Naval Service Apprenticeship Awards designed to recognise the exceptional achievements of naval apprentices.

The Navy delivers around 2,500 apprenticeships every year and, together with the RAF and Army, is the largest employer of apprentices in the UK.

Eight winners and seven highly-commended individuals were selected in the following categories; Best Apprentice (Engineering), Best Apprentice (Logistics), Best Apprentice (Airside Operations), Best Apprentice (Public Services), Best Advanced Apprentice,  Apprentice Personal Achievement Award and Apprenticeship Champion. 

Each finalist was presented with a trophy, certificate and voucher by Admiral Zambellas.

Each finalist was presented with a trophy, certificate and voucher by Admiral Zambellas.

Portsmouth-based Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer) Raymond Hamilton, 29, picked up one of the top prizes at the award ceremony for Best Apprentice (Engineering). Currently serving on board HMS Richmond, ET(WE) Hamilton said: “While a lot of hard work was required to complete my training it was both challenging and rewarding and I hope to make use of all I have learned to make me a better engineer for my future in the Royal Navy.”

It’s not the first time ET Hamilton has been recognised for his performance during his apprenticeship. Earlier this year he attended a reception at No. 10, where he met Prime Minister David Cameron, along with fellow apprentice Leading Chef Matthew Tew.  The pair had been chosen as two stand-out figures in the Royal Navy world of apprenticeships. LCH Tew was singled out for his inspirational support and development of apprentices on board ship.

Commander Sarah Johns, who is in charge of Education and Apprenticeships for the Royal Navy, came up with the idea for the awards and said: “Apprenticeships are the foundation of the learning journey naval personnel embark upon on joining the service and can be built on throughout their careers. The Royal Navy is highly regarded for its world-class training and apprentice opportunities and these awards have enabled us to celebrate and reward the achievements of some outstanding individuals. Having the First Sea Lord present the awards made the occasion extra special emphasising the importance of professional and personal development in the Royal Navy.” 

The winners will be put forward for the National Apprenticeship Awards later this year. 

Winners and finalists:

Best Apprentice (Engineering)
Winner: Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering) Raymond Hamilton, HMS Richmond
Highly Commended: Engineering Technician (Marine Engineer) James Shilling, HMS Northumberland
Highly Commended: Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer) Anthony Finnegan, HMS Portland

Best Apprentice (Logistics)
Winner: Writer Tobias Travers, HMS Somerset
Highly Commended: Writer Christopher Jamieson, HMS Lancaster
Highly Commended: Chef Emma Dagley, HMS Defender

Best Apprentice (Airside Operations)
Winner: Leading Aircrewman Thomas Best Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton
Best Apprentice (Public Services)
Winner: Able Seaman Belinda Alker, HMS Enterprise
Highly Commended: Marine James Collett, 40 Commando Royal Marines

Best Advanced Apprentice
Winner: Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Marine Engineer) Michael Cowing, HMS Northumberland
Highly Commended: Leading Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer) Sarah Mitchell, HMS Northumberland

Apprentice Personal Achievement Award
Winner: Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer) Kathryn Hunter, HMS Ocean
Winner: Air Engineering Technician Katrina Knowles, Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose

Apprenticeship Champion
Winner: Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering) Sarah Jenkins, HMS Kent
Highly Commended: Leading Chef Matthew Tew, HMS Dragon

Able Seaman Belinda Alker, a Hydrographic, Meteorological and Oceanographic specialist, on board HMS Enterprise, was also awarded the Hambone Trophy for being the highest achieving student in her year.

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