Students at West Cheshire College have celebrated academic and personal achievements at an annual award ceremony.

The Freemen and Guilds Awards evening took place at its Chester campus and saw 15 top students from the region receive prizes, that recognised the achievements they have made within industry and commerce in the North West.

Alex Noyes, 19 from Chester, who has recently completed a Level 3 Hospitality Supervision & Leadership HAB NVQ 3 Apprenticeship was awarded the Butchers Award for his excellent vocational standards.

Accepting the award Alex said: “I was shocked when I found out I had won the award, but also very pleased. I studied Level 1 & 2 hospitality and catering at West Cheshire College, but when my personal circumstances changed, I opted to follow the apprenticeship route. It has worked out really well for me.

“The college was great and willing to work with me so that I could fit in the study around my full-time job at the Cornichon - at the Gunnery. I finished the course last month and have since been promoted. I now work as a chef de partie, overseeing a section of the kitchen with greater leadership responsibilities, which is what I want to be doing.”

Former apprenticeship and advanced apprenticeship in vehicle maintenance and repair student Nathan Roberts, 24, from the Wirral, won the Saddlers and Curriers Award.

He said: “I’ve always been interested in vehicle maintenance and engineering and knew that it was something that I wanted to do after school. I have been fortunate enough to be able to work in this field, but I also knew that to develop myself and to progress my career, I needed to attend college and gain the right skills to help me do this.

“I completed my advanced apprenticeship last year, whilst working for Lookers Vauxhall in Birkenhead. The college and the tutors were great, as they understood that I was also working full- time. They were always on hand to give me support and even let me use the College facilities after hours so that I could fit it in around my job. I had no idea I was being given an award, it came as a big surprise.”

Acting principal and chief executive at West Cheshire College Helen Nellist, who presented the awards, said: “We are delighted to once again to be partnering with the Freemen and Guilds of Chester. The awards ceremony is a long-standing tradition that recognises the historic link between our college and regional businesses.

“We are also very proud of all of the winners. They have demonstrated that through hard-work and dedication, you can achieve your academic and personal goals. They are all a true inspiration to others and I would like to congratulate them all on their success and wish them the best for the future.”

The awards are a tradition spanning back to 1968 and represent the historic bond between education and the companies of the Freemen and Guilds, who support the recruitment and training of apprentices within their trades.

The Freemen and Guilds is made up of 23 companies including the Joiners and Carvers Company, Saddlers and Curriers, Cappers, Pinners, Wierdrawers and Linen Drapers and Barber Surgeons, Wax and Tallow Chandlers Company.