A MARCH apprentice has added another award to his collection after being given the Fenland Business Award for Young Apprentice 2011.
Anthony Palmer (22) has overcome serious illness to complete his apprenticeship training at the College of West Anglia ahead of target, obtaining distinctions throughout his BTEC qualifications.
His dedication and commitment to learning has been recognised with numerous prestigious awards earlier this year, including the regional and national NIACE 2011 awards (National Adult Apprentice of the Year Award), The Peter Stewart Apprenticeship Award 2011 and now the Fenland Business Award.
This new award was created in memory of one of Anthony’s colleagues at Stainless Metalcraft - Craig Bird of March, who died tragically in a car accident last year – and was presented to Anthony by Craig’s parents Richard and Kim Bird on behalf of the council.
Anthony started his training with employer Stainless Metalcraft of Chatteris and the College of West Anglia in September 2007. In the second year of his apprenticeship, he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery. After some time off, he returned to work and training with renewed enthusiasm and focus. His determination and motivation had a positive impact on fellow apprentices.
He achieved NVQ in Performing Engineering Operations level 2, BTEC First Certificate in Engineering level 2, Employment Responsibilities and Rights, and Semta Apprenticeship in Engineering Full Award. He went on to achieve NVQ in Fabrication and Welding level 3, BTEC National Award in Engineering level 3 and Semta Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Full Award.
Anthony said: “I was content to just stroll through my apprenticeship and not really care, but life has a way of giving you a kick up the backside.
“In February 2008 I was diagnosed with cancer. I admit I was scared, I thought I was going to die. After a simple operation I was back at home on the same day, although in agony. I had a week off work which gave me a lot of time to think about everything that had gone on. It made me appreciate how lucky I had been.
“Since then I have not looked back and I have enjoyed every day. I wake up wanting to come to work and learn new things. You only get one chance at life, so I don’t intend to waste it.”