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.