Outstanding young naval personnel have been recognised for their achievements in the first ever Royal Navy apprentices awards ceremony.
Admiral George Zambellas, First Sea Lord (head of the Royal Navy), presented awards to 15 finalists at the very first Naval Service Apprenticeship Awards designed to recognise exceptional achievements.
The Royal Navy delivers around 2,500 apprenticeships every year and 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 across the country; 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.
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 Portsmouth-based HMS Richmond, Engineering Technician 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 Number Ten, 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. Leading Chef Tew was singled out for his inspirational support and development of other apprentices on board ship.
Commander Sarah Johns, in charge of Education and Apprenticeships for the Royal Navy, devised 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.”
There are seven awardees from HM Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth (further details below) Engineering Technician (Marine Engineer) James Shilling, HMS Northumberland; Writer Tobias Travers, HMS Somerset; Winner: Able Seaman Belinda Alker, HMS Enterprise; Able Seaman Belinda a Hydrographic, Meteorological and Oceanographic specialist, was also awarded the Hambone Trophy for being the highest achieving student in her year; Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Marine Engineer) Michael Cowing, HMS Northumberland; Leading Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer) Sarah Mitchell, HMS Northumberland; Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer) Kathryn Hunter, HMS Ocean, and Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineer) Anthony Finnegan, of HMS Portland.
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
Winner: Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Weapons Engineering) Sarah Jenkins, HMS Kent
Highly Commended: Leading Chef Matthew Tew, HMS Dragon