Defence Apprentice Scoops National Title

Defence Apprentice Scoops National Title

A West Midlands apprentice landed the prestigious MOD Apprentice of the Year title at an awards ceremony in London recently. These annual awards run nationally across all areas of MOD and attract great interest from apprentices and their tutors who are working in various parts of the country.

Young Telford man, Aiden Johnson, 22, who is the pride of the Defence Support Group's (DSG) Donnington site, won this year's coveted award and made the trip to London last month to pick up his gold medal from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. To witness this special occasion, his mother Zena Johnson-Taylor accompanied him and was rightly proud of her son's major achievement in the face of very stiff opposition from apprentices from across the UK.

Speaking of his award Aiden says, "Winning the title is something I will always cherish and remember. Meeting The Princess Royal in the company of my mum is also one of those moments that will stay with me all my life. Princess Anne showed great interest in the work of all the candidates and spent time with each of us and seemed genuinely interested in my future career plans."

DSG Chief Executive, Archie Hughes, witnessed the awards ceremony and adds, "Aiden is an inspirational young man with enormous talent. With his unique and individual style and qualities, I am confident he will be a major asset to DSG. By winning this title, Aiden is proving his worth already as an ambassador not only for our Donnington business but also for DSG's other businesses across the UK."

Having successfully completed his apprenticeship, Aiden now works permanently at DSG Donnington. In the future, he hopes to have the opportunity of working for DSG at its repair facility for the Army in Canada where work may tie in with his passion for his adrenaline-inducing hobby of snowboarding.

Joining Aiden at the awards ceremony were four other successful DSG Donnington apprentices, Michael North won the Sir David Cardwell Memorial prize for an apprentice who has had to overcome some personal or physical difficulty during their apprenticeship. Stuart Braddock and Alexander Williams won the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation Medal, which was awarded for the design and manufacture of the track assembly tool, and Louisa Griffiths was presented with the Elvy and Coast Charity Award, which is a charity award offering the successful apprentice the opportunity and funding to take part in a character building adventure activity. From DSG Bovington in Dorset, Ian Baker was runner up in the 1st Phase Mechanical Machining and General Fitting category of the Tom Nevard Memorial competition.


Notes to Editors:

1. Attached pictures include Aiden receiving his gold medal from HRH The Princess Royal. The others show Aiden and his mother Zena meeting HRH The Princess Royal and Aiden with his mother after receiving his medal.

2. DSG launched on 1 April 2008 as a new MOD Trading Fund with the primary focus of providing expert in-house maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade services for the through life support of the key land and air based platforms and equipment of the UK Armed Forces.

3. It draws together many unique capabilities that have been developed over several decades for the direct benefit of troops and their equipment at both home and abroad. DSG turnover is in excess of £200m, with a workforce of around 3800 strategically located throughout the UK.

4. DSG's Head Office is located in Andover and provides strategic direction to the main sites in Bovington, Catterick, Colchester, Donnington, Sealand, St Athan, Stafford, Stirling, Telford and Warminster. Smaller support sites located in Aldershot, Bicester, Kinnegar and Sennybridge further enhances DSG's geographic coverage. Small support teams are also permanently embedded in other UK military sites.

5. For further information about DSG or to arrange an interview with Aiden, please contact Allan Robertson, in the DSG press office:
Office hours: 01446 755202
Out of hours: 07710 789853


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