Former Soldier Battles to Win Gold

Former Soldier Battles to Win Gold

A former soldier turned apprentice is now winner of the prestigious MOD Apprentice of the Year title.

Daniel Wright's gold medal achievement also makes it a consecutive year success for the Defence Support Group (DSG). These annual awards run nationally across all areas of MOD. They attract great interest from apprentices and their tutors who are working in various parts of the country.

Originally from North Devon, Daniel, 35, who lives in the village of Barton with his young family, served in Iraq as a Bombardier with the Royal Artillery and left after 14 years service. 

He joined DSG Catterick's apprenticeship scheme in 2007.  Daniel undertook three years of structured on-the-job training whilst earning a relatively small basic salary in pursuit of a better future for his young family.

At the awards ceremony in London (2 December), Minister for International Security Strategy, Gerald Howarth presented Daniel with his gold medal.

Speaking of his award Daniel says, "It was a tough three years but all of it is worthwhile and winning the title makes it even more special.  It is such a fantastic accolade and I am hoping that it will open up many opportunities for me so I can make life better for my family." 

Having successfully completed his apprenticeship, Daniel now works permanently as a fitter at DSG Catterick and is shortly deploying to the frontline to repair the vehicles in use by our Armed Forces. 

Daniel reaped further success, coming runner up in the Team Challenge of the Tom Nevard Memorial Competition.  Working with Catterick fellow apprentices Kev Foster, Bruce Thomson and Richard Marsh, the team designed and produced a golf trolley in 27 hours from the various equipment and components supplied.

DSG's Chief Executive, Archie Hughes, witnessed Daniel receiving his award and adds, "Drive and determination sets Daniel apart.  He worked tremendously hard and all credit to him for going through the scheme whilst supporting his young family.  I am so proud that DSG has exemplary employees like Daniel who are willing to go that little bit extra.  Our apprenticeship scheme is an enviable one and with the dedication and commitment of our Apprentice Masters, we are turning out high calibre ambassadors for the organisation."

Four DSG Donnington apprentices were also successful in the Tom Nevard Memorial Competition; Ben Dovey won first place and Steve Wilson runner up in the Hand Skills Phase 2 for making a setting tool, Matthew Powell's half inch square drive ratchet racked up the Machining Phase 2 prize and Kevin Lewis placed runner up.  Apprentices from DSG Bovington also reaped success as Ben Camfield won the Machining Phase 1 title with James Braithwaite taking the runner up spot. 

Andrew Murray, an apprentice at DSG Donnington won the Elvy and Coast Award, which is a charity award offering the successful apprentice the opportunity and funding to take part in a character building adventure activity.

Notes to Editors:

1. Picture shows Minister for International Security Strategy, Gerald Howarth presenting Daniel Wright with his gold 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 3300 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 as well as established in support of operations in Afghanistan at Camp Bastion.

5. For further information about DSG or to arrange an interview, please contact the DSG press office:

Allan Robertson
Office hours: 01446 784007
Out of hours: 07710 789853

Ref: 06/10