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Margate-born army apprentice recognised by defence minister

PUBLISHED: 13:54 10 March 2017

Lance Corporal Tristan Willis and defence minister Mark Lancaster

Lance Corporal Tristan Willis and defence minister Mark Lancaster

Archant

Lance Corporal Tristan Willis, 24, is pursuing a career in the infantry

A Margate-born army apprentice has been recognised by the government’s defence minister at the launch of a new awards scheme.

As the largest provider of apprentices in the UK, the Ministry of Defence celebrated the tenth National Apprenticeship Week by honouring its apprentices right across the country and across the services.

Announcing the Army Apprenticeship Awards at Gibraltar Barracks in Camberley, minister Mark Lancaster introduced some of the highest performing soldier apprentices who have recently qualified in their field, including Lance Corporal Tristan Willis, who is pursuing a career in the infantry.

“As the UK’s largest apprenticeship provider, we are delivering a huge range of training and skills right across defence, and it’s great to see the likes of Tristan taking advantage of that,” Mr Lancaster said.

“I’m sure the awards launched today will motivate more like him to excel in their field and help the military to continue leading the way for British apprenticeships.”

24 year-old army apprentice Lance Corporal Willis of the 1st Battalion, Mercian Regiment said: “I came into the army to gain some qualifications.

“So far I’ve done my level 1 and 2 in both maths and english, have also gained a Public Services Apprenticeship and I’m currently enrolled to do an engineering apprenticeship, despite not having any experience with cars or anything like that.”

The RAF Apprenticeship Awards, now in its sixth year, also took place at RAF Honington this week.

The annual event is a chance for the RAF to promote and celebrate the achievements of their valued apprentice mechanics, technicians and engineers, and the army will now have a similar opportunity to honour the likes of Tristan.

Elsewhere, in London this week, the navy celebrated their apprentices on-board the Type 23 frigate HMS St Albans which has been docked alongside Thames Quay at West India Dock.

Two apprentices from each service, along with one of the MOD’s many civilian apprentices, also attended an exclusive lunch reception at the House of Commons on Thursday in an event aimed at recognising the esteem in which apprenticeships are held.

Together with industry, the MOD is working to achieve three million apprenticeship starts by 2020 as part of the government’s manifesto.

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