HELPFUL colleagues are the key to learning a trade, according to Ben Hackett, who was named Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

Eighteen-year-old Ben, who lives in Wilton, is an apprentice joiner at Domoney Woodwork, of Dinton, and has been studying at Wiltshire College Salisbury Campus (formerly Salisbury College) for NVQs while working.

He said he was very happy at Domoney Woodwork and paid tribute to one colleague in particular.

"John Stockley is a brilliant joiner and he helps me with anything I get stuck on," he said.

"I like everyone there."

Ben said he was going to take a break to go travelling and then return to study for his NVQ level 3.

"I want to go to Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and to do some voluntary work in Africa," he said.

Presenting Ben with his award were Maggie Moss of Wiltshire College and Melanie Murrell, managing director of Salisbury company Innotec.

Ms Murrell said the apprentice/trainee award was about "celebrating the excellence of the future".

"I would have no hesitation in saying to any of these young people you're hired'," she said.

  • Runners-up were Eddy Formstone of financial services group Smith & Williamson and Andrew Atkinson of QinetiQ, Boscombe Down.