Apprentice Chelsea wins prestigious prize

Apprentice Chelsea Parker (22), from Barnoldswick, is celebrating after being named a City and Guilds Medal for Excellence winner for 2014-15. (S)

Apprentice Chelsea Parker (22), from Barnoldswick, is celebrating after being named a City and Guilds Medal for Excellence winner for 2014-15. (S)

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A Barnoldswick apprentice is celebrating after being presented with a prestigious prize.

Twenty-two-year-old Chelsea Parker was named a City and Guilds Medal for Excellence winner in 2014-15 after being chosen from 259 entrants for completing her manufacturing apprenticeship with Silentnight.

Chelsea joined the apprenticeship scheme at Silentnight in 2011, as she was drawn by the possibility of working and studying.

Initially, she concentrated on furniture upholstery and has gone on to gain valuable experience in divan base sewing and drawer upholstery.

Alongside her on the job training, Chelsea studied for an NVQ 2 at Burnley College, where her tutor, impressed by her work, nominated her without her knowing.

Chelsea said: “When I found out I had won, I was really shocked. When it sank in, I was really pleased. It’s a really good feeling to be recognised for your efforts.

“Joining the apprenticeship scheme was a great decision. Studying as well as working can be challenging but it’s great to work towards something and the support I had from the Silentnight team was great.

“I am currently studying for a Higher National qualification and in five years’ time I hope to still be at Silentnight, designing new furniture.”

Michael Dingwall, the Manufacturing Manager at Silentnight, said: “We are thrilled Chelsea has been given this award - she deserves this recognition.

“Since joining the company in 2011, Chelsea has excelled in her role and we are proud to have such a talented individual in the company.”

City and Guilds’ Medals for Excellence recognises the achievements of learners who have achieved results by producing exceptional work, going above and beyond what is expected to achieve their goals.

Chelsea has also gone on to be nominated for Lancashire Business View Young ‘Un Award in the apprentice category, and will find out if she is successful on June 12th.