EMMA Quigley has a promising career ahead after beating competition nationwide to secure first place at the 2014 MOD Apprentice of the Year awards.

Emma, who has graduated from the MOD apprentice scheme in Plymouth, won gold and joined Stuart Redford, also from Devonport Naval Base, who secured the bronze award.

The Apprentice of the Year award is highly competitive with the competition including a final interview to determine the MOD's top three apprentices, who each receive a medal, certificate and cash award.

To secure gold Emma demonstrated confidence, positivity, self assurance, a passion for her work with an ability to infect others with that passion.

She acted as a role model and her initiative and drive for educating themselves was proven with knowledge beyond their local area. Ultimately the winner showed personal integrity and a willingness to take on any role that will develop them as an apprentice ambassador throughout their apprenticeship. 

The judges said: “Emma’s achievements during her apprenticeship were commendable, and continued professional guidance will stand her in good stead to excel. We consider this to be an exemplar requirement in a possible apprentice ambassador.’’

Since completing her apprenticeship four months ahead of schedule, Emma secured a job in Devonport Naval Base with the Superintendant Submarines Team.

Captain Richard Carrick, who heads the team said: “I’m delighted to see Emma’s hard work, commitment and talent recognised nationally.

"My whole team understand the importance of investing time and effort into the apprenticeship initiative and work hard to support them, ensuring that they develop the skills and experience that will help them going forward in a challenging but rewarding environment.

"This is a huge achievement and one which Emma should be extremely proud of. I have been very pleased to watch Emma develop as an apprentice before joining my team as a substantive Band D.”

Emma and Stuart’s success will be formally celebrated at the Apprentice of the Year Award Ceremony that will be held in MOD Main Building in London. This is a high profile event, which has in the past been supported at a very senior level within the department. Emma said: “I have recently completed the MoD Technician Apprenticeship Scheme and where I am proud to have won the MoD’s Civilian Apprentice of the Year Award.’’ The apprenticeship consisted of 3 Phases; Phase 1 was spent at City College Plymouth, completing a Level 3 BTEC in Engineering, where I gained both an academic and practical knowledge of engineering. This involved completing a number of assignments and classroom based work, as well as some practical work. As part of the BTEC she created a self-propelled vehicle to transport a drinks can exactly 10metres within a specified budget. When carrying out the project she linked her project to marine engineering in the submarine world, focussing her attention on a Stirling engine, as used by the Swedish Navy, on board their submarines.

At college she completed a City and Guild’s module in ship-building, and a Level 2 NVQ in Performing Engineering Operations and produced a watertight tank, which was pressure-tested.

She completed a six-month month placement in Devonport while studying a for an HNC in Marine Engineering, at Cornwall College Saltash. She worked with Babcock and the MOD withs Naval Architecture, Analytical Methods, and Mechanical Principles in Babcock’s submarine design office.

Her apprenticeship included adventurous training on the Lizard; with a number of team building activities and adventurous sports such as coasteering, and kayaking and a community project, carrying out a litter pick in Blackie’s Wood - part of the construction project for MVV Umwelt’s Energy from Waste Plant, next to Devonport Dockyard.

In her final phase she worked on landing craft and HMS Ocean She wants to develop her career working with submarine along the nuclear propulsion route and top up her HNC to a Foundation Degree in Marine Engineering, through a day release scheme at City College Plymouth. And study for a degree through day release schemes to Masters Degree in Marine Technology, with the aim of becoming a Chartered Engineer and then be promoted to assistant project contract manager.

Emma atrended Hele’s School in Plympton where I was a member of Hele’s School Combined Cadet Force (CCF). And was Head Cadet of the Royal Naval Section, where I represented the CCF on a number of occasions.

She said: “I have had an interest in the Royal Navy since I joined the Cadet Force at the age of 14. When I found the apprenticeship it seemed the perfect opportunity to be involved and work alongside the Royal Navy, whilst remaining at home with family and friends. I have thoroughly enjoyed the apprenticeship, and for anyone who is considering an apprenticeship I would definitely recommend it.

"For those who are thinking of going to University, I would suggest seriously considering the apprenticeship route; it only opens doors and there is the opportunity to gain a degree at a later date, whilst you are earning and in a job.

"The apprenticeship is a great way of building a strong foundation, with the opportunities to apply and reinforce what you have learnt.’’ She is also a Girl Guiding Leader, a member of Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team Plymouth, and an Adult Civilian Instructor for Hele’s School CCF and enjoys adventurous training – white water kayaking, climbing and mountaineering