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Army Apprenticeship Awards 2018

1On 7th March 2018 Lee Loftus (Deputy Contract Operations Manager for the CIA) attended the first Army Apprenticeship Awards at Sandhurst with Hannah Turner; this was a very high ranking event with General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the General Staff, Earl Howe the Minster for the Armed Forces and most of IDev in attendance.

Overall there were 23 nominees from across all 15 cap badge apprenticeship programs represent the very best from their own programs and were recognised for their achievements. The Army is recognised as one of the top 100 employers offering apprenticeships, the Army has the largest employer provided apprenticeship programme in the country, with 95% of new soldiers taking part, and over 7000 completing their apprenticeship training each year

Earl Howe, Minister for the Armed Forces, presented awards to the three most outstanding apprentices: Army Apprentice of the Year, Army Advanced Apprentice and the Army Apprentice Champion.1.1
 Earl Howe commented, "It is so important to recognise the achievements of these people. Defence apprenticeships offer the opportunity to earn while you learn, regardless of your gender, across over forty different subjects, and the Army is leading the way for Defence."

Army Apprentice of the Year, 30 yr old LBdr Kendal Wiltshire, 55 Bty, 26 Regt RA, said, "It's been absolutely amazing and has inspired me to do more. I didn't particularly like school, but Army Apprenticeships have offered me a different way of learning. And now I love helping others and watching them succeed. It's what the Army is about, teamwork, and helping others."

Army Advanced Apprentice, Lance Corporal Liam Molloy, 26, from 30Sqn 26 Engr Regt, who lives in Andover but is currently deployed in Estonia on the British Army Enhanced Forward Presence stated, "I didn't always enjoy school, but the practical learning I can do as a Royal Engineer in the Army is really interesting. I've been in the Army for five years now, and really enjoy the way we're taught to do our jobs and work together to support our team."
From 16000 apprentices and 23 nominees the CIA had 5 finalists and the DMS had one which was outstanding to hear that our learners and staff had been recognised for these awards.
1.21HM Forces Apprenticeship 

Fus Callum Fraser – 2 Scots, Pte Peter Lancashire – 1 Mercian & Fus Shaun McLorie – 1RRF

Infantry Signals Apprenticeship

LCpl Ben Rogers – 5 Rifles

Infantry Apprentice Champion

WO2 Lee Shields – 1 Yorks

WO Lee Shields from 1 Yorks has been a massive advocate of apprenticeships in 1 Yorks and helped to turn the unit’s stats round, Lee did win the Apprenticeship Champion and he attended the awards with his CO so all good promotion for the CIA Apprenticeship and the same for our DMS learner.

General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the General Staff said, "I am proud that the Army is the largest employer provider of apprenticeships in the UK and I am delighted that we are celebrating the outstanding achievements of our apprentices – congratulations to all. I am absolutely committed to enabling every soldier and civil servant in the British Army to maximise their talent and the quality and quantity of the over 40 Apprenticeship programs from engineering and digital to animal care, medicine and catering provides the means to do so. 95% of all new soldiers now study on the Apprenticeship programme and relish the opportunity to learn and work hard to earn accredited skills that set them up well in life."

National Apprenticeship Week 2018


The Surgeon General, Major General Martin Bricknell, met with a number of The Colleges Partnersip Apprentices from all over the UK at DMS(W) to celebrate and discuss their progress on the level 3 Apprenticeship. Those Pictured include Chris Brown, Deputy Contract Operations Manager (DMS), Captain RN Neil Wagstaff, Commander Whittington Barracks, Colenal Andrew Yates, Commander Simon Goodrum DCHET. This was part of our celebration of National Apprenticeship Week 5th to 9th March 2018

Kohima Reverse Advent Calendar

Last year we were able to provide a fantastic amount of help to our local food bank and hope to the same if not better again this year.  I am organising  the  `reverse advent calendar’ again to help those families that struggle throughout the year but particularly during the holidays and at Christmas time.    This year we’re going to start a little early to enable us to hand over the food early so it can be distributed with time to spare.

xmasRemember that not only does this reverse calendar give you the feel good factor and help you clear out your cupboards but saves your waist line from those advent chocolates (I’m sure we’ll still have some)!Each day in November and early December at Blandford Kohima office we’ll all bring an item in that adds to a fantastic food hamper (box), by December 8th we’ll hopefully have a feast of food that the food bank will be able to hand out. 

Suggested items.
  • Mince Pies
  • Christmas Pudding
  • Chutneys
  • Selection packs
  • Biscuits
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Tinned fruit, meat, veg  and soup etc
  • Cereal
  • Angel Delight
  • Crisps
  • Toilet rolls 
  • Flour
The list is endless, however no fresh produce etc.

The box will be situated in the main office for all those wanting to take part.

Let’s see if we can make this year a little better for those worrying how to feed the family!

Royal Signals Apprentices of the Year Awards

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R SIGNALS Electronic Warfare Operator Apprentice of the Year – Lance Corporal J Sidwell

Lance Corporal Sidwell is a Light EW Team Detachment commander whose role is to provide EW support in both the mounted and dismounted roles. He has demonstrated considerable determination and motivation in exploiting the opportunities offered by his unit’s intensive series of exercises in a variety of scenarios.  He has been able to amass experience, relevant skills and knowledge to improve his employability, self-confidence and leadership skills. He has also seized the chance to give something back by contributing to his unit’s standard operation procedures, unit tactics, techniques and procedures as well as helping to develop next generation EW warfighting tactics.

LCpl Sidwell has made significant development directly attributed to the apprenticeship that he has undertaken and more importantly the derived knowledge and skills that he has then transferred to the workplace.  As a previously quiet and slightly introvert soldier, his confidence has immeasurably grown owing to his apprenticeship; he now confidently leads his subordinates, regardless of how arduous the situation with style and panache.

R SIGNALS Operator Apprentice of the Year and Royal Signals Apprentice of the Year 2017  – Lance Corporal N White

Lance Corporal White has been employed in a unit responsible for Electronic Counter Measures (Force Protection) in direct support of units and other Government agencies deploying on operations.  The support he and his team have given to the maintenance of equipment capability on Operations TORAL and SHADER together with briefing and training of personnel have enabled him to develop and enhance his technical knowledge, skills and personal leadership qualities.  He has rounded off his specialist trade skillsets by using an extended deployment to Gibraltar to develop his broader, more generic military skills.  The Gibraltar deployment and subsequent activity included assisting in the development of subordinates, planning and delivering a physical training programme together with planning, training and participation in arduous military skills competitions where his personal efforts and those of his team won recognition.

LCpl White believes his NVQ has developed him both personally and professionally. The NVQ has made him aware of the importance of equality and diversity within the workplace developing his leadership and man management skills, affected his performance on PNCO course in which he was awarded Top Soldier. This NVQ has played a massive role in maturing LCpl White as a person and a soldier, it has greatly helped him progress his education and led him to continue as an apprentice on higher qualification.

R SIGNALS Electrician Apprentice of the Year - Signaller K Pun

Signaller Pun works in the Regimental Generator Bay where his responsibilities include the maintenance, inspection and repair of unit power assets as part of their high readiness commitment to the enhanced NATO Reaction Force.  Apart from the development of his own individual technical knowledge, skillsets and expertise, Signaller Pun has been able to play a part in bringing on the development of Class 3 electricians, thus benefitting the whole unit. His achievements are all the more remarkable when it is borne in mind that he transferred from the Infantry: he has therefore adapted and progressed rapidly in a very different and new environment.

The knowledge, experience and skills Signaller Pun has developed have given him the confidence to make decisions, work effectively, safely and even pass these qualities on to others. His dedication to personal development through his trade training and apprenticeship has meant that he can bring more benefits to his unit. Sig Pun has found a real positive effect on his English language through the apprenticeship, through various written and practical work and the support given to him from the NVQ assessors.  As part of his apprentice Sig Pun has been given the opportunity to develop through gaining qualifications in functional skills of English, numeracy and information technology.

R SIGNALS Logistics Apprentice of the Year – Signaller G Smart

Signaller Smart is a Signaller Communications Logistic Specialist within the UK’s 3rd (UK) Division Signal Regiment where his role is to provide and account for general life support stores in barracks and in the field.  Signaller Smart has shown exemplary zeal in obtaining a range of specialist qualifications that have enhanced and widened his employability and been of direct benefit to his unit. This has been evidenced by his ability to step up and act as an SQMS over an extended period.  His development in core trade and military skills have been matched by his keen participation in a variety of sports at Regimental and Corps level to bring on his personal development.

The apprenticeship has given Sig Smart a solid foundation in understanding logistics and the confidence to stand up as the SQMS over a three month period. In addition to his apprenticeship Sig Smart has also obtained further qualifications which will benefit the Unit in a number of other areas, thus enhancing his employability.  This has empowered him to become one of the most qualified Signaller Communications Logistic Specialists within the Regiment.  Sig Smart believes that ultimately, the apprenticeship has been a valuable use of his time that will no doubt have benefit to him and his future units.

R SIGNALS Technician Apprentice of the Year – Signaller D Brack

Signaller Brack installs maintains and repairs telecommunications cabling and infrastructure both in UK and abroad.  His unit has repeatedly deployed Signaller Brack overseas on a series of high profile key operational tasks and it is a mark of his ability and reliability that his services are so regularly called upon.  He has been given increased levels of responsibility, including mentoring and bringing on more junior tradesmen.  Signaller Brack’s commitment and motivation to his apprenticeship have required him to carefully manage his time in order to progress, despite his repeated deployments, and this he has done whilst maintaining his support to the operational focus of his Squadron.

Since enrolling on his apprenticeship Sig Brack has been deployed to the Falklands Islands on a 6 month tour, Brunei twice, Nepal, Belize, Ascension Islands and Hereford. With this distraction Sig Brack has still achieved completion of his Trade Class 3-2 workbook. With the constant deployments he has had to concentrate on completing his apprenticeship when time allowed. He has gained in confidence since starting the apprenticeship in his trade abilities; recently returning from a 2IC role, this involved showing junior members of the team techniques accomplished through experience. Sig Brack feels that since starting this apprenticeship his confidence has grown greatly in completing his work and being able to mentor others into being able to do their work​ ​to​ ​a​ ​good​ ​standard​ ​too.

R SIGNALS Engineer Apprentices of the Year – Lance Corporal B Gomes

Lance Corporal Gomes works in Army Headquarters providing support to service managers and the wider Army Hosting Environment, a very high profile and potentially unforgiving environment. In the course of his apprenticeship Lance Corporal Gomes has rapidly developed his trade skills and expertise, drawing upon the best practises of both the military and civilian spheres.  His personal levels of confidence and ability have enabled him to represent his unit on international cyber exercises and acting as system network installer, configuration manager and directing staff in a unit cyber competition.  His dedication and commitment to his professional development have been marked by his willingness to invest his own personal time to progress and learn more.

LCpl Gomes states the Apprenticeship program was very helpful for his personal progression and made him think of new ways of tackling situations, trying to think outside the box for the best outcome. During his Apprenticeship his mentor played a key role in aiding his development. His Apprenticeship played a vital role in his personal development alongside the training and professional guidance he received from experienced professionals has helped to build his confidence in the work place. Bringing to the workplace an attitude where he is pro-active and quick thinking whilst understanding his role within the organisation, he believes this attitude and commitment to learning has paid off as he has been rewarded with a recommendation for promotion. He has also been given the opportunity to test the skills he has developed by being selected to go on an Operational Tour in a role as a Corporal.

Professional Exchange Network TCP Lead

Hilary Yuille has been successful in her bid as lead for the Professional Exchange in the South West.

The Professional Exchange is a network of practitioners from all types of organisations - not just colleges,  coming together to share ideas and resources and to test and trial innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment. This work will be led by a peer group lead. A group will consist of 5 to 8 colleagues all focused on one area of research, interest, practice, burning issue, wicked problem etc.

Each Professional Exchange member will join a peer group of 5-8 individuals to work on a topic of their choice during the academic year. The topics available include:
 Digital technologies  Mental health  Teacher training/ Professional Standards  English  Maths  Apprenticeships
Professional Exchange participants can be teachers, tutors, assessors, trainers or managers working in colleges, independent training providers, adult and community learning providers and third sector providers in the South West. Please note that this Professional Exchange does not cover Cornwall, Hampshire and parts of Devon as another Professional Exchange takes place there. Instead, the Professional Exchange in the South West covers areas east and north east of Exeter, all the way to Gloucestershire and Oxford.