Truro and Penwith College hosted the biggest-ever Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards on Friday night at the Eden Project. More than 200 guests attended, with a host of local and national sponsors to celebrate the success of 48 apprentice, employer and mentor nominees across 18 categories.

James Angliss was named Cornwall’s Apprentice of the Year, as well as Construction and Trade Occupations Apprentice of the Year, having enjoyed incredible success progressing to a university-level Chartered Surveying Apprenticeship, having project-managed a multi-million-pound NHS facilities project of countywide benefit.

James’ success was all the more exceptional following a life-changing diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He joined the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) team as a Level 2 Construction Apprentice in 2017, and displayed a huge level of tenacity resulting in two promotions in just three years, before moving onto his Chartered Surveying apprenticeship.

Now in his early twenties James, is on track to achieve a Distinction in 2025 and has already made a significant impact on Cornwall’s health sector, having project-managed the delivery of a multi-million-pound breast screening equipment replacement programme.  

Of his win, James said: “I finished college with only two A Levels and I was derailed by IBD, but having an apprenticeship gave me a different route, and I’m now on the way to becoming chartered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Apprenticeships are a great pathway - I’ve benefitted a great deal out of it, and so could others.”

The Achiever of the Year category is awarded by public vote to an apprentice who has overcome adversity. This year’s winner was Sarah Hyde-Wear, 47, Restaurant Supervisor and Hospitality Apprentice at Fistral Beach Hotel. She faced multiple challenges, including resitting her English and maths exams, a dyslexia diagnosis, hip surgery and a significant family illness.

“I’ve not been in education for over 30 years, and I feel super-proud of myself,” she said. “Being nominated was a win on its own, but to actually win is pretty incredible. A lot of people have called me resilient, determined and tenacious, and it’s made me realise just how much I can do and what I can achieve.”

College principal Martin Tucker said: “We are delighted to celebrate exceptional achievement and outcomes in apprenticeship training across Cornwall.

“For apprenticeships to deliver economically, they need to be of the highest quality. The Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards presents a perfect opportunity to recognise that quality and we have thoroughly enjoyed all the talent that exists across all apprenticeship provision in Cornwall.”